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Molecular Genetics of Bacteria, 4th Edition

Authors: Larry Snyder1, Joseph E. Peters2, Tina M. Henkin3, Wendy Champness4
Affiliations: 1: Michigan State University; 2: Cornell University; 3: Ohio State University; 4: Michigan State University;
Content Type: Textbook
Format: Electronic, Hardcover
Publication Year: 2013

Category: Best-Selling Textbook; Microbial Genetics and Molecular Biology

The classic comprehensive and authoritative textbook on bacterial molecular genetics.

  • Features completely revised and updated material and retains same chapter order, incorporating the most recent advances in the field since publication of the third edition in 2007.
  • Provides thought questions, problems, and suggested reading lists for each chapter that test student comprehension and encourage further research.
  • Provides descriptive background information, examples of genetic analyses, and advanced material relevant to current applications of molecular genetics.
  • While intended as an undergraduate textbook, it also serves as an invaluable text for anyone working in the fields of microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, bioengineering, medicine, molecular biology, and biotechnology.
  • Also an essential reading for scientists in all fields of biology, many of whom depend upon the concepts and techniques covered in this book.

For more on the book and information on requesting an examination copy please visit http://www.asmscience.org/instructors

Click here to see ASM's "Author Insights" interview with author Joseph E. Peters, PhD and click here to see ASM's "Author Insights" interview with author Tina M. Henkin, PhD.

Book Summary

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Quarterly Review of Biology

24 February 2014

This fourth edition has been substantially revised with some new sections; for example, phage genomics and cluster of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR). It is well-written extensive textbook of the genetics of bacteria and viruses as this field developed from the 1960s through the 1980s. There is no discussion of whole genome sequencing and evolutionary genetics as they affect our understanding of genetic exchange, sequence variability, or population structure.

Quarterly Review of Biology

Volume 88, Page 250

Reviewer: Daniel E. Dykhuizen

Review Date: September 2013

Microbiology Today

24 February 2014

This is the 4th edition of a highly successful, fairly advanced text on bacterial genetics. It does not disappoint. Tina Henkin and Joseph Peters have joined forces with Larry Snyder and Wendy Champness to produce a highly relevant, up-to-date, accurate, readable and comprehensive text. No other text on the genetics of bacteria has the experimental background to knowledge that this book provides. New material such as the section on bacterial cell biology and the cell cycle, phage genomics, phage defense and an expansion of the chapter on homologous recombination is all to be applauded.

Although there is some historical material left out, detailed descriptions of some remain, such as Crick's brilliant elucidation of the triplet nature of the genetic code. There is also quite a lot of re-organisation; all the gene regulation is now together in one chapter and all the protein secretion is together in another. Importantly the book is not all about E. coli; there are a broad range of paradigms described from other bacteria (cell cycle, sporulation, global regulation) and, where relevant, useful comparisons of processes with their eukaryotic counterparts.

This is a book for teachers, microbiology research students and early career researchers and PIs. As with the previous editions of this book, I cannot recommend it too highly.

Society for General Microbiology: Microbiology Today

Reviewer: Margaret Smith, University of York

Review Date: May 2013

Doody's Review Service

24 February 2014


This is the fourth edition of an introduction to bacterial molecular genetics. The previous edition was published in 2007.


It is designed to explore the field of molecular genetics using model bacterial organisms. In this rapidly  advancing field, a comprehensive yet understandable textbook is much needed, and this book expertly fulfills this need.


The audience includes advanced undergraduate and graduate students in biology, microbiology, molecular genetics, biochemistry, and biotechnology. The four authors are all professors of microbiology, and have taught in the field of microbial genetics for many years.


The book covers in significant detail bacterial DNA structure and replication, protein synthesis, bacterial genetic fundamentals (e.g. plasmids, conjugation, transformation, etc.), bacteriophages, DNA repair, and much more. The text is clear and concise, and the numerous diagrams, simple and effective. Chapters are devoted to specific topics and the techniques used to study them, with concise summaries at their end. Thought-provoking questions and problems with answers are provided as well. Suggested reading lists and reference lists are thorough and complete.


This book both educates with a historical perspective and brings students up to date in the rapidly advancing field of modern bacterial molecular genetics.

Weighted Numerical Score: 99 - 5 Stars!

Doody's Reviews Service

Reviewer: S Goodman, MD(Saint Francis Memorial Hospital)

Review Date: September 2013

©Doody’s Review Service

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