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Pristionchus pacificus

This edited volume on the nematode model Pristionchus pacificus describes an integrative approach to evolutionary biology. It aims for a merger of evolutionary and comparative biology with mechanistic approaches based on genetics and molecular biology. Insight into the function of biological systems obtained from laboratory studies when complemented with ecology, natural variation and natural history of an organism, can provide detailed knowledge of the proximate and ultimate causations of species. Ralf J. Sommer developed P. pacificus as model system for integrative evolutionary biology with case studies in evo-devo and population genetics on La Reunion Island. Similarly, ecological interactions with scarab beetles revealed examples for the evolution of novelty at the morphological and behavioural level and their underlying molecular mechanisms. Contributors include Paul W. Sternberg, Ralf J. Sommer, Jagan Srinivasan, Christian Rodelsperger, Frank C. Schroeder, Robin M. Giblin-Davis, Natsumi Kanzaki, Matthias Herrmann, Angela McGaughran, Katy Morgan, Akira Ogawa, Federico D. Brown, Ray E. Hong, Robbie Rae, Amit Sinha, David Rudel, and Erik J. Ragsdale.
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Table of Contents

Contributors Foreword Acknowledgements 1. Why Caenorhabditis elegans is great and Pristionchus pacificus might be better Paul W. STERNBERG 2. Integrative evolutionary biology and mechanistic approaches in comparative biology Ralf J. SOMMER 3. Diplogastrid systematics and phylogeny Natsumi KANZAKI and Robin M. GIBLIN-DAVIS 4. Taxonomy and natural history: the genus Pristionchus Erik J. RAGSDALE, Natsumi KANZAKI and Matthias HERRMANN 5. The laboratory model: genetics, genetic mapping and transgenics Laura AURILIO and Jagan SRINIVASAN 6. Comparative and functional genomics Christian ROEDELSPERGER and Christoph DIETERICH 7. Small molecule signalling: encoding biological information in chemical structures Frank C. SCHROEDER 8. Population genetics and the La Reunion case study Angela MCGAUGHRAN and Katy MORGAN 9. Evo-devo and developmental systems drift: an evolving paradigm in organ formation and tissue coordination, vulva and gonad development in Pristionchus pacificus David RUDEL 10. Dauer formation and dauer-specific behaviours in Pristionchus pacificus Akira OGAWA and Federico BROWN 11. Mouth dimorphism and the evolution of novelty and diversity Erik J. RAGSDALE 12. Pristionchus pacificus olfaction Ray L. HONG 13. Anatomy and connectivity in the pharyngeal nervous system Dan BUMBARGER and Metta RIEBESELL 14. Bacterial interactions and the innate immune system Amit SINHA and Robbie RAE Gene index Species index General index

About the Author

Ralf J. Sommer, Ph. D. (1992), LMU Munich, is Director of the Max-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and Adjunct Professor at Tubingen University. As a trained zoologist, his research aims to integrate various disciplines in evolutionary biology.


"This book is an impressive collection of facts and ideas neatly packed into quite condensed texts. It is a breath-taking demonstration of the power of modern biology. Some elements of the global `Pristionchus pacificus' project are still in the reach for even modestly equipped laboratories. Thus, the `La Reunion case' is a good example of how the study of intra-specific groups of nematodes can reveal a complicated history of colonisations and adaptation. Such books serve as special messengers for the scientific community, provoking thought for further research." Sergei E. Spiridonov (Center of Parasitology, A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS, Moscow) in: Russian Journal of Nematology. "This monograph provides an excellent, thorough and up-to-date overview of research on the diplogastrid nematode Pristionchus pacificus. From small beginnings, work on Pristionchus has expanded by now to generate dozens of significant papers each year, in varied areas of biology. It is therefore very timely to review what has been achieved, and to lay out the stall for yet more research on P. pacificus". Jonathan Hodgkin in: Nematology, Volume 17, Issue 10 (2015).

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