The Driving Forces of Evolution: Genetic Processes in Populations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Driving Forces of Evolution

Genetic Processes in Populations, 1st Edition

By David Wool

CRC Press

362 pages

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To cope with the abiotic stress-induced osmotic problems, plants adapt by either increasing uptake of inorganic ions from the external solution, or by de novo synthesis of organic compatible solutes acting as osmolytes. Of the osmoregulants and protectants discussed in this volume, trehalose, fructans, ectoine and citrulline, which are generated in different species, in osmotically ineffective amounts, mitigate the stress effects on cells/plants and improve productivity. There are several pieces of encouraging research discussed in this volume showing significant improvement in stress tolerance and in turn productivity by involving genetic engineering techniques.

Table of Contents



Part I: Mainly Theory

1. The Beginning

The point of departure; The origin of life; Spontaneous

generation of life; Modern approaches

2. Evolution as an On-going Process

Basic concepts and definitions; Genetic variation in

populations; Genetic and phenotypic variation; How to detect

evolutionary change; Models in population genetics and


3. Populations at Equilibrium: The Hardy-Weinberg Law

Genetic equilibrium; Graphic illustration: De-Finetti diagrams;

Properties of the De-Finetti diagram; Uses of the Hardy-

Weinberg law; Estimating the frequencies of recessive alleles;

Deviations from equilibrium: Absolute limits; The hexagon

method; More complex models: Two independent loci; Sexlinked


4. Deviation from Equilibrium: Genetic Drift - Random

Changes in Small Populations

'Effective' population size; Sampling errors; Genetic drift in

small populations; Genetic variation in subdivided populations;

The Wahlund effect; The founder principle; Propagule size or

gene pool size?

5. Deviations from Equilibrium: Mutations

Historical review; About mutations: Terminology; The

frequency of mutations; The fate of a single mutation;

Recurrent mutations; Genetic load

6. Deviations from Equilibrium: Migration

Migration as an ecological phenomenon; Genetic and

evolutionary consequences of migration; The fate of a single

immigrant: Experimental evidence; Theory: Unidirectional

recurrent migration; Emigration and genetic change in the

source population; Estimating gene flow in natural populations;

Wright's F-statistics; The method of private alleles; Examples

7. Deviations from Equilibrium: Non-random Mating

Non-random mating in natural populations; Inbreeding and

outbreeding; Extreme inbreeding: Selfing; Sib-Mating; Wright's

general equilibrium formula; Identity by descent and pedigrees:

the method of path coefficients; Deleterious effects of

inbreeding; Isolation by distance; Variation in inbreeding

populations; Outbreeding systems: self-incompatibility;

Outbreeding depression

8. Deviation from Equilibrium: Selection

Basic concepts and definitions; Selection against a recessive

genotype; Other models of selection. Selection against

heterozygotes; Selection in favor of heterozygotes; Selection

and average fitness; The fundamental theorem of natural


Part II: Selection in Nature

9. The Theory of Natural Selection: A Historical Outline

Paving the way; A short biography of Charles Darwin; Natural

selection: Darwin's reasoning; The history of 'The Origin of

Species'; Alfred Russel Wallace: Biographical notes; Support

from embryology for the theory of descent; The struggle for

existence of the theory of evolution; Thomas Henry Huxley:

Biographical notes

10. Genetic Variation in Natural Populations

Historical notes; Sources of genetic variation; The 'epigenetic

landscape' model; Phenotypic plasticity; Which characters

should be used to measure genetic variation? Variation in

morphological and chromosomal characters; Polygenic

quantitative characters; Inheritance of quantitative characters;

Heritability; Threshold characters

11. Genetic Variation in Natural Populations (continued)

Electrophoretic variation; Quantitative estimation of

electrophoretic variation in natural populations; 'Null' alleles;

Molecular methods in evolutionary research; Mini-satellite DNA

("Fingerprinting"); Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

12. Evolutionary Processes in Natural Populations

Ecological genetics; Industrial melanism in moths; Shell color

polymorphism in the European land snail; Insecticide

resistance; Heavy-metal tolerance in plants; Experiments with

natural populations of guppies; Recent evolution of Darwin's


13. Natural Selection and Adaptation

What is adaptation?; The evolution of adaptation; Measuring

adaptation; Co-adaptation and co-evolution; Natural selection

and Geographical clines; Non-selective explanations for


14. Natural Selection and Polymorphism

Definitions; Selective advantage to heterozygotes; Frequencydependent

selection: Rare-male advantage; Environment

heterogeneity; Polymorphism without selection; Sexual

selection; Seasonal phenotypic changes; Polymorphism in the

ladybird beetle, Adalia bipunctata

15. Classification of Selection Processes

What can natural selection detect? Evolution of altruistic traits;

Altruism and the handicap principle; Group selection; Kin

selection; Altruism, kin selection, and proto-sociality in insects;

Laboratory studies of group selection

16. Evolution in Asexually-reproducing Populations

Advantage of sexual reproduction; Parthenogenesis;

Parthenogenesis, polyploidy and variation; Evolution of

parthenogenesis and polyploidy; Genetic variation in

parthenogenetic populations; Morphological variation in

parthenogenetic species

17. Laboratory Populations as Models for

Natural Selection

Advantages and limitations; Genetic and epigenetic

interactions within populations; Genetic facilitation; Modeling

evolutionary processes with laboratory populations; The

ecology of selection in Tribolium populations; Bottlenecks,

inbreeding, and fitness; A model for the differentiation of island


18. The Neutralist-Selectionist Controversy:

'Non-Darwinian' Evolution?

The controversy; Historical review; Models of the structure of

the genome; Neutralism versus Neo-Darwinism; Basic

assumptions; Evidence in support of the neutrality hypothesis;

Degeneracy of the genetic code

19. The Neutrality Hypothesis: Molecular Support - and

Evidence to the Contrary

Gene duplication and Pseudogenes; Models of evolution by

neutral mutations; Testing for neutrality; Silent sites in the DNA;

Are synonymous mutations really neutral? Genotype

distributions in natural populations; Is electrophoretic variation

selectively neutral?; Selection affecting electrophoretic


20. Molecular Evolution

Historical notes; Evolution of molecules: Protein evolution;

Rates of protein evolution; Evolution of organisms: The

molecular clock hypothesis; Molecular phylogeny: studies with

mitochondrial DNA; Regulatory genes in evolution; Evolution of

the genetic code

Part III: Macro-evolution

21. The Concepts of 'Species' in Evolution

Micro- and macro-evolution; Variation, classification, and

species definitions; Different definitions of "Species"; The

Biological Species concept; Other definitions; Multivariate

morphological definition: Numerical Taxonomy; Genetic

Identity and genetic Distance; Molecular identification of


22. Formation of New Species (Speciation)

Historical review; How do species evolve? Geographic

(allopatric) speciation; Sympatric speciation; Host races in fruit

flies; Bottlenecks: Flush-crash cycles; The effect of genetic

bottlenecks: Laboratory studies

23. Speciation, Extinction of Species and Phylogeny

Interpretations of the fossil evidence: Cuvier, Lyell and Darwin;

Mass extinctions: Meteorites and cumulative destruction by

man; 'Gradualism' versus 'punctuated equilibria'; Evolution as

the history of life (phylogeny); The data; Cladistics, phenetics,

and phylogeny; Deducing phylogeny from molecular sequence

comparisons; Progress and trends in phylogeny; The


24. Evolutionary Processes in Human Populations

Historical notes; Anatomical evolution; Natural selection in

human evolution; Cultural evolution; Mental faculties;

Heritability of talents; Genetic variation and the question of

human races; Eugenics: Artificial intervention in human

evolution; Man and the environment; The evolutionary future of


25. Strategies in Evolution

The evolutionary game; The meaning of 'success'; Coarseand

fine-grained environments; Concluding remarks

Author Index


About the Author

David Wool was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. at Tel Aviv University, followed by Ph.D. at the University of Kansas, USA in 1969. For his doctorate he studied genetic processes in populations, using flour beetles as an experimental model. Dr. Wool joined the Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University, as a lecturer in 1970, and advanced to full professorship in 1984, teaching population genetics, ecological genetics and biometry. His research interests shifted from the laboratory population models to the biology and ecology of gall-inducing aphids in nature and to the historical development of the theory of evolution. His research yielded 150 papers in scientific journals. He spent sabbatical years doing research at the universities of Reading, UK, Michigan State, USA and Macquarie, Australia, and participated in numerous international scientific conferences.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / Developmental Biology
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / General