Principles of Microbial Diversity
Every speck of dust, drop of water, and grain of soil and each part of every plant and animal contain their own worlds of microbes.
Designed as a key text for upper-level undergraduates majoring in microbiology, genetics, or biology, Principles of Microbial Diversity provides a solid curriculum for students to explore the enormous range of biological diversity in the microbial world. Within these richly illustrated pages, author and professor James W. Brown provides a practical guide to microbial diversity from a phylogenetic perspective in which students learn to construct and interpret evolutionary trees from DNA sequences. He then offers a survey of the “tree of life” that establishes the necessary basic knowledge about the microbial world. Finally, the author draws the student’s attention to the universe of microbial diversity with focused studies of the contributions that specific organisms make to the ecosystem.
Principles of Microbial Diversity fills an empty niche in microbiology textbooks by providing an engaging, cutting-edge view of the “microbial zoo” that exists around us, covering bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes, and viruses.
Praise for Principles of Microbial Diversity
“We desperately needed a book that climbs the big tree, branch by branch, written both for undergraduates and as a reference. Principles of Microbial Diversity is that book!” -Jo Handelsman, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, Frederick Phineas Rose Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University
“What an absolutely fabulous book! Jim Brown captures the excitement and transformative impact that microbial diversity has brought to the field of microbiology in a text appropriate for students. Principles of Microbial Diversity belongs on every microbiologist’s bookshelf.” -Hazel A. Barton, Associate Professor of Biology, Associate Professor of Geosciences, University of Akron
James (Jim) W. Brown’s lasting interest in microbiology was sparked by a single lecture on microbial diversity in an undergraduate microbiology class at Ball State University and by the announcement in that class of the discovery of an entirely new kind of living thing, the "archaebacteria." He went on to earn his MS in Microbiology at Miami University and his PhD in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology program at The Ohio State University. Jim developed and continues to teach senior-level undergraduate lecture and lab courses in microbial diversity at North Carolina State University (NCSU), which are the genesis of this textbook. He was awarded the NCSU Alumni Association Distinguished Undergraduate Professor award in 2014.
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Paperback, 416 pages, full color throughout, illustrations, glossary, index.
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04 January 2016
This new text by Brown (North Carolina State Univ.) was written for use in courses on microbial diversity, a recommended core course for microbiology majors. The book is an outgrowth of a junior/senior microbial diversity course taught by the author and was designed for upper-level students who have completed a general microbiology course and have a background in either microbial genetics and biochemistry or physiology. The four main sections provide a historical perspective, cover the major groups of prokaryotes, describe experimental techniques used in phylogenetic studies, and touch on microbial genomics and the origins of life. Written from a phylogenetic and organismal perspective, the book is crisp and concise with many excellent figures and tables. If anything, the writing is too succinct; additional information with more details would have benefited the work. Questions for thought at the end of each chapter provide opportunities for open-ended discussions. This text should work well for courses in microbial diversity for upper-level undergraduate microbiology majors.