Essential Fungal Genetics

by David Moore & LilyAnn Novak Frazer
Published by Springer-Verlag, New York, ISBN 0 387 95367 1

Essential Fungal Genetics provides the tools for integrating fungal genetics into current teaching at undergraduate/graduate level. It is a user-friendly specialist account, which will complement the major textbooks used in courses on general genetics, general organismal biology, general microbiology and general mycology. Essential Fungal Genetics incorporates all aspects of eukaryote genetics appropriate to fungi, described here in a way that is easily understood and memorable. The book has an instructional ‘how to do it’ tone and will have a practical value for anyone who has a mind to start genetic analysis of any fungus. Not in terms of technical details like laboratory recipes, but more about details of the ideas and concepts underlying basic approaches to fungal genetics so that these are on record and easily accessible. The authors have maintained a readable style of presentation, and provide a range of reference materials at the end of each chapter, favoring recent review articles and websites, so that the interested reader can very quickly penetrate deeper into the literature.

David Moore has taught genetics at the University of Manchester since 1967. His research on fungal genetics and development has appeared in over 150 research papers. His books include Fungal Morphogenesis (1998), a volume in the Developmental and Cell Biology series published by Cambridge University Press (now available in paperback), and Slayers, Saviors, Servants, and Sex: An Exposé of Kingdom Fungi, a book for the general reader about the world of fungi, published in 2001 by Springer-Verlag, New York.

LilyAnn Novak Frazer graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.Sc. in Biology and Chemistry in 1988 and focused her postgraduate studies in mycology, first with an M.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 1990, and subsequently in Ph.D. studies at the University of Manchester, where she graduated in 1996. She has published several research papers, book chapters and literature reviews. She then turned her attention to uncovering the potential for using fungi for the in situ remediation of contaminated land, such as brownfield and landfill sites, with a land reclamation consultancy, but has now returned to research in the University of Manchester Hospitals.


Chapter 1: Why study the genomes of fungi?

    Revision concepts

1.1  Origins

1.2  Diversity in the Kingdom Fungi: Chytridiomycota, Zygomycota, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota

1.3  Fungi in nature

1.4  Fungi in technology

1.5  Fungi as models

1.6  Genes to genomics

Recent publications and websites worth a visit

Historical publications worth knowing about 

Chapter 2: Genome interactions

    Revision concepts

2.1  Fungal life styles: hyphal fusions are the key to advanced hyphal systems

2.2  Population biology aspects of compatibility systems

2.3  Compatibility and the individualistic mycelium

2.4  Nuclear migration

2.5  Other incompatibility reactions

2.6  Structure and function of mating type factors: mating type factors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

2.7  Structure and function of mating type factors: mating types of Neurospora

2.8  Structure and function of mating type factors: mating type in Ustilago maydis

2.9  Structure and function of mating type factors: mating types in Coprinus cinereus and Schizophyllum commune.

2.10  Overview: biology of incompatibility factors

            Recent publications and websites worth a visit

            Historical publications worth knowing about

Chapter 3: Wild types and mutants

    Revision concepts

3.1  Phenotypes and genotypes: variations and mutations

3.2  Molecular nature of mutation

3.3  Natural variation and spontaneous mutation

3.4  Generating mutants: mutagenesis

3.5  Generating mutants: irradiation

3.6  Generating mutants: chemical mutagens

3.7  Types of functional mutant

3.8  Isolating auxotrophic mutants

3.9  Resistance mutations

3.10  Reverse mutation: from auxotroph to prototroph

3.11  Molecular variants 

Recent publications and websites worth a visit

Historical publications worth knowing about

Chapter 4: Segregation genetics - the indirect approach

    Revision concepts

4.1  Complementing mutants

4.2  Adenine auxotrophs of Coprinus

4.3  Functional allelism

4.4  Gene segregation depends on the behavior of chromosomes during nuclear division

4.5  Meiosis

4.6  Analyzing gene segregations from random spores

4.7  Use of chi2 tables

4.8  Testing for homogeneity

4.9  Detecting linkage

Recent publications and websites worth a visit

Historical publications worth knowing about

Chapter 5: Recombination analysis

    Revision concepts

5.1  Linkage studies make maps

5.2  Multipoint crosses

5.3  Rules of the three-point crosses game

5.4  A three-point cross in Coprinus

5.5  Mapping centromeres using gene segregations in tetrads and eight-spored asci (octads): single gene segregations

5.6  Mapping using multiple gene segregations in tetrads and octads

5.7  Unordered tetrads

5.8  Linkage analysis to linkage map

5.9  Tetrad segregations leading to secondary homothallism

5.10  Gene segregation during the mitotic division cycle

5.11  Cytoplasmic segregations: mitochondria, plasmids, viruses and prions 

Recent publications and websites worth a visit

Historical publications worth knowing about

Chapter 6: Mechanisms of recombination

    Revision concepts

6.1  Gene conversion

6.2  Hybrid- or heteroduplex-DNA

6.3  A basic mechanism for recombination

6.4  Correction of base mismatches in heteroduplex-DNA generates aberrant segregation ratios

6.5  Modifying the basic recombination model

6.6  Models and the real world 

Recent publications and websites worth a visit

Historical publications worth knowing about

Chapter 7: The physical genotype

    Revision concepts

7.1  Molecular markers

7.2  DNA polymorphisms

7.3  Restriction fragment length polymorphisms

7.4  Polymerase chain reaction

7.5  PCR primers: AP-PCR and RAPD

7.6  Single-strand conformation polymorphisms

7.7  DNA fingerprinting

7.8  Microsatellites

7.9  Minisatellites

7.10  Transposable elements

7.11  Genes and spacers

7.12  Electrophoretic karyotypes 

Recent publications and websites worth a visit

Historical publications worth knowing about 

Chapter 8: Genes to genomics: mapping the fungal genome

    Revision concepts

8.1  Genes and maps: the story so far

8.2  Physical maps

8.3  Restriction mapping: a real-life example

8.4  Optical mapping

8.5  DNA cloning: plasmids, cosmids, BACs and YACs

8.6  Chain termination sequencing

8.7  The first complete eukaryotic genome sequence: Saccharomyces cerevisiae

8.8   Comparisons between genomes

Recent publications and websites worth a visit

Historical publications worth knowing about 

Chapter 9: Systematics, phylogeny and evolution

    Revision concepts

9.1  Phylogenetics: inferring evolutionary development

9.2  The molecule is the message

9.3  Inferring relationships

9.4  Making trees make sense

9.5  Horizontal transfer of genetic information

9.6  Genes in populations

9.7  Genes in fungal populations

9.8  Genetic variation in hosts and pathogens

9.9  Evolution in captivity: natural and artificial selection

9.10  Mycotechnology

Recent publications and websites worth a visit

Historical publications worth knowing about

Chapter 10: The genetics of fungal differentiation and morphogenesis

    Revision concepts

10.1  Differentiation and morphogenesis

10.2  Genetic approaches for analyzing gene regulation

10.3  Regulating gene expression: DNA binding proteins

10.4  Regulating gene expression: chromatin remodeling

10.5  Regulating gene expression: transcription

10.6  Galactose utilization in yeast: the epitome of eukaryote regulation

10.7  Regulating gene expression: repression and silencing

10.8  Regulating gene expression: high-level control mechanisms, DNA modification and epigenetics

10.9  Post-transcriptional regulation: spliceosomes, proteasomes and protein networks

10.10  Shape, form and differential gene expression

10.11  Yeast-mycelial dimorphism

10.12  Conidiation: translational triggering and feedback fixation

10.13  Sexual reproductive structures in ascomycetes and basidiomycetes

10.14  Genetic control of morphogenesis of fungal fruit bodies 

Recent publications and websites worth a visit

Historical publications worth knowing about


YOU CAN ORDER the book from Amazon and from Springer-Verlag.

Quotations from REVIEWS

Essential fungal genetics, by David Moore and Lily Ann Novak Frazer. Springer, 2002. 357p index afp ISBN 0-387-95367-1, $69.95. Reviewed in 2003jan CHOICE.

Through their teaching and research in fungal genetics at the University of Manchester (UK), Moore and Frazer are well qualified to write this book. Their goal is to integrate fungal genetics into current teaching by complementing major textbooks used in courses in general genetics, general organismal biology, and general mycology. This book differs from others on

fungal genetics in that the examples chosen to illustrate various features tend to favor basidiomycetes and the less-often referenced fungi. To maintain a readable style of presentation, the authors have omitted reference citations in the text. Important references are listed at the end of each chapter, with emphasis on review articles and Web sites. Ten

chapters treat important aspects including genome interactions, wild types and mutants, segregation genetics, recombination analysis, mechanisms of recombination, the physical genotype, mapping the fungal genome, fungal phylogeny and evolution, and fungal differentiation and morphogenesis. This book will serve as a comprehensive resource for courses in fungal genetics and will be useful for upper-division undergraduate and graduate

students as well as professionals in molecular fungal biology, mycology, plant pathology, microbiology, medical mycology and other disciplines in which fungi have an important role. --- R. L. Gilbertson, emeritus, University of Arizona

This information is from, an ALA/ACRL publication,available by subscription at  © American Library Association.

Essential Fungal Genetics: by D. Moore & L. N. Frazer. Published by Springer (2002) €79.95/SFr133.00/£56.00/US$69.95, pp. 357 ISBN: 0-387-95367-1

The publication of a general text devoted entirely to fungal genetics is a welcome, but not common event. Publication at this time has allowed the authors to cover traditional genetics, such as mutation and recombination, while including the latest molecular biology. The book contains a wealth of useful information and is written in quite a dense style, often demanding careful re-reading. Although the text has many diagrams, the reasons for particular choices are not always obvious and some difficult concepts are left unillustrated. Starting each chapter is an extensive list of ‘revision concepts’; similar techniques have been used by other authors, but in this volume it seems less appropriate. The text is not directly referenced, but lists of publications and websites ‘worth a visit’ or ‘worth knowing about’ are given at the end of each chapter. Despite minor reservations, this is a valuable contribution on these fascinating and important organisms. • Roger Marchant University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland.

Appeared in Microbiology Today (quarterly magazine of the Society for General Microbiology), volume 30, page 91, May 2003.

Review in Mycological Research (2002) vol. 106, p. 1488

Essential Fungal Genetics By David Moore & LilyAnn Novak­ Frazer, 2002, Springer-Verlag, Berlin. Pp. xi 1-357. ISBN 0 387 95367 1. Price €79.95, £56.

The authors set out to produce a concise but complete description of the genetics of fungi in a text that is neither a formal academic review nor a laboratory manual. The text aims to explain and explore the concepts behind various techniques and so introduce methods that are distinct from those used in animals and plants. Ten authoritative chapters lead the reader from a thorough exploration of the reasons for studying fungal genomes through classical approaches to mutagenesis, linkage maps, and methods of recombination to the value of modern applications in physical mapping and the genetics of development. Numerous interesting examples range well beyond the normal model species used in standard texts. Each chapter begins with a list of revision concepts and concludes with reading lists of publications and web sites which include papers of historical value to the development of the chapter’s themes.

The authors have undoubtedly succeeded in their main aim of producing a readable yet challenging text which will appeal to keen undergraduates and their teachers alike. In particular, the inclusion of both classical and molecular techniques together makes for a satisfying read. Each chapter is organized logically and carefully leads the reader through, at times, complex ideas. I found the figures and tables particularly useful though their application is at times uneven. For example, attempting to describe techniques such as DNA sequencing, RAPD’s, and chromosome walking or principles such as the molecular nature of mutation without extensive visual illustrations makes great demands on the reader. This style may deter an audience unfamiliar with such methods and ideas. Although the authors did not intend to produce a monographic textbook the inclusion of revision notes does suggest a target group of undergraduates. However, the revision notes are too numerous (including a continuous list of 42 bullet points in one case) and would be clearer if organized into an hierarchy or subdivided into boxed summary sections closer to the relevant text. There is a complete and useful index which perhaps should he supple­mented with a glossary of mycological and genetical terms which are not always easy to glean directly from the text.

The text works best if each chapter is read to completion when the meticulous use of worked examples really does facilitate a thorough understanding. There is much here to inform and interest even experienced practitioners. A simple numbering system to reference information sources would be an unobtrusive way of aiding further reading. The pres­entation and the book’s price will appeal less to an undergraduate generation raised on highly structured text-books where the ‘sampling’ of short sections, brief case histories or examples is encouraged. The final sections covering the genome projects are timely and current but will no doubt require updating for the next edition as the field progresses apace.

In conclusion, this is a valuable addition to the literature which I will certainly recommend as a reference source for our final year undergraduates studying fungal genetics.

Paul Hooley: School of Applied Sciences, University of Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV1 1SB, UK.

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