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 Réunion 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 Rödelsperger, 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.
Ralf J. Sommer, Ph. D. (1992), LMU Munich, is Director of the Max-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and Adjunct Professor at Tübingen 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 Réunion 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
Jonathan Hodgkin in:
Nematology, Volume 17, Issue 10 (2015).
Table of contents
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 RÖDELSPERGER and Christoph DIETERICH
7. Small molecule signalling: encoding biological information in chemical structures
Frank C. SCHROEDER
8. Population genetics and the La Réunion 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
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
All interested in nematodes, their development and interactions with organisms in an ecological, biogeographic and phylogenetic context, as well as evolutionary and developmental biologists and ecologists.