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Developmental Biology, Eighth Edition

Scott F. Gilbert

751 pages, 777 illustrations

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Developmental Biology


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Developmental Biology, Eighth Edition

Scott F. Gilbert

751 pages, 777 illustrations

About This Title

The Eighth Edition of Developmental Biology expands its coverage of the mechanisms of development, the roles that environmental factors play in development, the medical applications of our knowledge of development, and the roles that development plays in evolution, highlighting all the incredible advances that have been made in the last three years. Written primarily for undergraduate biology majors, it also serves to introduce graduate students and medical students to developmental biology.

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Eighth Edition Features and Supplements

A completely updated text integrates classical developmental biology with contemporary techniques, including new material on: stem cells niches; microRNAs; sperm–egg attraction and binding; induction and maintenance of pluripotency; pioneer transcription factors and the recruitment of nucleosome remodeling proteins; left–right gene expression asymmetry; heart chamber specification; neural crest cell specification and differentiation; somite formation; human brain growth genes; the syndetome; new sources of muscle precursor cells; newly discovered mechanisms of teratogenesis; the effects of endocrine disruptors on human development; sex determination pathways in the brain; the effects of maternal nutrition on gene expression and disease susceptibility in the adult offspring; controversies over digit specification in birds and dinosaurs and whether mammalian blastomere fate is biased at the first division; and much more.

Vade Mecum2 CD-ROM • Included with every copy of the book is Vade Mecum2: An Interactive Guide to Developmental Biology. In addition to a wealth of interactive content, this updated version includes a new Teachers’ and Student’s Resource with PowerPoint® slides of chick whole mounts and serial sections. A searchable PDF file on the CD contains full citations for the book’s literature cited, with links to PubMed. The CD also includes Mary Tyler’s laboratory manual, Developmental Biology: A Guide for Experimental Study, Third Edition, in electronic (PDF) format.

Companion Website ( • Cross-referenced throughout the textbook, this resource provides more information for advanced students, historical, philosophical, and ethical perspectives on issues in developmental biology, movies, interviews, Web links, and updates. The website includes the full bibliography of literature cited in the book (over 5,000 references), most of which are linked to their PubMed citations.

Instructor’s Resource Library, including new video collection (Online sample) • Available to qualified adopters, this resource contains: all the figures (including photographs) and tables from the textbook; PowerPoints of all figures and tables; a new video collection; videos and images fromVade Mecum2; the Instructor’s Guide to Vade Mecum2; and the Instructor’s Guide to Differential Expressions2. (Available both on DVD-ROM and online.)

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Reviews and Commentary

“The book contains outstanding supplemental material that should not be overlooked, including an extensive website full of interesting sidelights,vade mecum2, a CD-ROM with videos, photographs, and a laboratory manual, study questions, and full literature citations (with links). … Gilbert’s publication remains the standard against which other developmental textbooks must measure themselves.” 
—Dominic Poccia, The Quarterly Review of Biology

“The book tackles complex concepts with clear understandable language and informative images. It is wonderfully illustrated with thorough figure legends that complement the text. Images of current research are combined with tables, charts, and drawings to explain complex problems in terms that an undergraduate student can understand, while being informative at a level of detail suitable for graduate students and other scientists wishing to gain insight into recent findings in the field or brush up on basic principles in developmental biology. A must-have book for anyone interested in developmental biology.” 
—Brenda Judge Grubb, Integrative and Comparative Biology

“In all, this text serves as a great introduction to the classical field of developmental biology while introducing the reader to many of the questions that current developmental biologists study. With its conversational writing style and heavy use of images to help explain topics, undergraduates, graduate students, and medical students alike will find Developmental Biology to be a quick read by textbook standards. The book’s organization—whereby development is explained chronologically—takes the reader on an exciting journal through the stages of life from sperm and egg to, well, immortal medusa.” 
—Kyle R. Zander, Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine

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About the Author(s)

Scott F. Gilbert, the Howard A. Schneiderman Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College, teaches developmental biology, developmental genetics, and the history of biology. After receiving his B.A. from Wesleyan University, he pursued his graduate and postdoctoral research at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Gilbert is the recipient of several awards, including the first Viktor Hamburger Award for excellence in developmental biology education, the 2004 Alexander Kowalevsky Prize for evolutionary developmental biology, an honorary degree from the University of Helsinki, and the Medal of François I from the Collège de France. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Society of Naturalists. His research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and involves the developmental genetic mechanisms by which the turtle forms its shell.

Susan R. Singer, author of Chapter 20, “An overview of plant development,” is Professor of Biology at Carleton College and teaches plant biology, plant development, genetics, and developmental genetics. She earned a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D., all at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Singer has directed Carleton’s Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching, chaired the Education Committee of the American Society of Plant Biologists, and served on the National Reseearch Council’s Committee on Undergraduate Science Education.

Both Scott and Susan have served on the Education Committee of the Society for Developmental Biology.

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Table of Contents

(Numbered chapter titles followed by some of the new material included in these chapters since the last edition)

I. Principles of Developmental Biology

1. Developmental biology: The anatomical tradition

  • New techniques of mathematical modeling of development

2. Life cycles and the evolution of developmental patterns

  • Recent advances in planarian regeneration

3. Principles of experimental embryology

4. The genetic core of development

5. The paradigm of differential gene expression

  • Histone modifications
  • MicroRNAs
  • Pioneer transcription factors
  • Mammalian cloning and methylation patterns

6. Cell–cell communication in development

  • Stem cell specification and stem cell niches
  • Morphogenetic regulation by cadherins
  • Noncanonical Wnt pathways
  • Dependence receptors and apoptosis
  • Community effect and autocrine factors

II. Early Embryonic Development

7. Fertilization: Beginning a new organism

  • Cortical granule components
  • New mammalian sperm–egg binding model
  • Mammalian sperm chemotaxis and thermotaxis
  • Mechanisms of sea urchin sperm chemotaxis
  • Sea urchin bindin receptor
  • Oocyte translation inhibitors and their removal
  • New hypotheses of sperm activation
  • Mammalian sperm–egg fusion

8. Early development in selected invertebrates

  • Wnt and Nodal in sea urchin axis specification
  • Coiling genetics of snail embryos
  • Functions of tunicate yellow crescent
  • Roles of FGFs in tunicate development
  • Tunicate heart development

9. The genetics of axis specification in Drosophila

  • FGF signals and Drosophila mesoderm formation
  • Transport of Nanos and Bicoid messages to opposite ends of the fly oocyte
  • New model for gap protein stabilization

10. Early development and axis formation in amphibians

  • New models for organizer formation in Xenopus
  • New model for mesoderm specification in Xenopus

11. The early development of vertebrates: Fish, birds, and mammals

  • Maternal effect mutations in zebrafish
  • Neurulation in zebrafish
  • Retinoic acid in anterior–posterior axis specification in chordates
  • Ciliary movements and left–right axis specification in vertebrates
  • Role of Cerberus in chick head formation
  • Mesoderm specification and migration in chick gastrulae
  • FGF and cell fate in chick and mammalian epiblasts
  • Induction of pluripotency in mammalian inner cell mass blastomeres
  • Homeotic transformation in mammals due to total Hox paralog knockouts
  • Controversy over blastocyst polarity in mammals
  • Folate receptors and teratogens affecting neurulation

III. Later Embryonic Development

12. The emergence of the ectoderm: Central nervous system and epidermis

  • Genes specifying neural fate
  • Human-specific genes specifying brain growth
  • Progressive myelination of the human brain
  • Neural stem cells
  • Eye development and blind cave salamanders
  • Skin, hair, and pigment stem cells

13. Neural crest cells and axonal specificity

  • Neural crest cell specification and migrations
  • Head vs. trunk neural crest specification
  • Neural crest-endoderm interactions forming facial structures
  • Placode specification and separation
  • Tooth development and evolution
  • Semaphorins, Robo, and ephrins in neural patterning

14. Paraxial and intermediate mesoderm

  • Specification of paraxial and intermediate mesoderm
  • Epithelialization of somites
  • The syndetome—where tendons arise
  • FGFs, Notch, and Wnt in somite specification and separation
  • The primaxial and abaxial musculature
  • New sources of muscle precursor cells
  • Pathways of skeleton formation
  • Regulating ureteric bud branching
  • Wnt and FGF proteins regulating nephron formation

15. Lateral plate mesoderm and endoderm

  • Cloaca formation
  • Heart cell specification
  • Tbx genes, retinoic acid and heart chamber formation
  • Heart valve development
  • Hematopoietic stem cells and their derivatives
  • Lymphatic development
  • Induction of arteries by neurons
  • Placenta as source of blood stem cells
  • Adult blood stem cell niches
  • Endoderm specificity
  • Pancreas vs. liver development
  • Fate mapping pancreatic cells

16. Development of the tetrapod limb

  • Hox code of limb development
  • Specification of the digits by hedgehog proteins and HoxD genes
  • Controversy over digit identities in dinosaurs and birds
  • Getting limbs from fins

17. Sex determination

  • Timing and gene expression in mammalian sex determination
  • Brain sex determination pathways in vertebrates and flies
  • Hormone disruptors and sex determination problems
  • Dosage compensation and sex determination
  • Temperature-dependent sex determination in turtles

18. Metamorphosis, regeneration, and aging

  • Molecular mechanisms of amphibian metamorphosis
  • Ecdysone receptors and the response to molting hormone
  • Compartment formation in the wing imaginal disc
  • Why can’t we regenerate our limbs?
  • Neuron- and mesenchyme-dependent stages of limb regeneration
  • Specification of limb regions by transcription factors during regeneration
  • Mitochondrial control of aging
  • Insulin pathway control of aging and possible relation to oxygen radicals
  • “Ageless” animals and environmental control of aging

19. The saga of the germ line

  • Genetic specification of germ-line cells in Drosophila and vertebrates
  • Components of the Drosophila germ plasm
  • Egg and sperm stem cell niches in Drosophila
  • Migration of primordial germ cells in mammals, chicks, and flies
  • Determination of meiosis and mitosis in C. elegans
  • Retaining mammalian spermatic stem cells

IV. Ramifications of Developmental Biology

20. An overview of plant development

  • Gamete formation and pollen tube guidance
  • Maternal effects and embryo development
  • Radial and axial patterning
  • New model for auxin specification of polarity
  • Roles of microRNAs in plant development
  • Dorsal–ventral leaf patterning
  • Long-distance RNA transport and flowering
  • Floral meristem specification

21. Medical implications of developmental biology

  • Mechanisms of alcohol teratogenesis
  • Effects of endocrine disruptors on human development
  • Nutritional effects of gene methylation and disease susceptibility
  • Cancer as a disease of development
  • Cancer stem cell hypothesis
  • Developmental approaches to cancer therapy
  • Stem cell therapeutics
  • Regenerating human limbs and neurons

22. Environmental regulation of animal development

  • Molecular bases for environmental regulation of gene expression
  • Importance of symbionts in mammalian gut and immune system development
  • Signaling from fetal mammalian lung to initiate labor
  • The role of nutrition in the development of the dung beetle
  • Predator-induced polyphenism and toxicity testing
  • Genetic assimilation of environmentally induced traits

23. Developmental mechanisms of evolutionary change

  • Developmental modularity and evolution (stickleback studies)
  • Evolution by heterochrony, heterotopy, heterometry, heterotypy
  • BMPs and Darwin’s finches
  • Origin of neural crest cells and the origin of jaws
  • The search for the Urbilaterian ancestor

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Pricing and Options

TitlesProduct CodePrice (USD)  
Developmental Biology, Eighth Edition
0-87893-250-X$119.95PurchaseRequest Exam Copy
Developmental Biology, 8/E with A Student Handbook for Writing in Biology, 3/E
Bundle available in US and Canada only.
This bundle includes:
A Student Handbook for Writing in Biology, Third Edition
Developmental Biology, Eighth Edition
978-0-87893-371-6$125.00PurchaseRequest Exam Copy
Developmental Biology 8/e and Bioethics and the New Embryology: Springboards for Debate
Bundle available in US and Canada only.
This bundle includes:
Bioethics and the New Embryology: Springboards for Debate
Developmental Biology, Eighth Edition
0-87893-298-4$125.90PurchaseRequest Exam Copy
Developmental Biology 8/E with FlyCycle 2 DVD
Bundle available in US and Canada only.
This bundle includes:
Fly Cycle2
Developmental Biology, Eighth Edition
Developmental Biology 8/E with Differential Expressions 2
Bundle available in US and Canada only.
This bundle includes:
Differential Expressions2: Key Experiments in Developmental Biology (2-DVD set)
Developmental Biology, Eighth Edition
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