Principles of Microbial Diversity

Author: James W. Brown1
Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, Nother Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
Content Type: Textbook
Format: Paperback
Publication Year: 2015

Category: Environmental Microbiology; Best-Selling Textbook

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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, 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.

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.

-Jo Handelsman, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, Frederick Phineas Rose Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University

-Hazel A. Barton, Associate Professor of Biology, Associate Professor of Geosciences, University of Akron

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.

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

There are no separately available contributors for this publication.

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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.

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