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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Roger W. Melvold, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This volume of the annual series is devoted entirely to giant polytene chromosomes.
Purpose: These structures, the only chromosomal entities large enough to be visualized during interphase, are probably best known in Drosophila, but are they found in several other insects as well. The volume is written entirely by Dr. Zhimulev and attempts to serve as a reference monograph bringing together the state of knowledge on polytene chromosomes in terms of structure, organization, and function.
Audience: This is directed toward geneticists, primarily those interested in chromosomal structure and organization.
Features: The volume contains numerous black-and-white figures and drawings and photomicrographs that are very well done and aid greatly in illustrating the points to be made. The material is laid out in 12 logically organized chapters, and the data presented are heavily cited. The table of contents and index are both rather brief, but the bibliography is quite extensive, occupying about 130 pages (over a quarter of the entire text), and includes references up through 1995.
Assessment: This volume would be very useful for anyone working in the field because of the breadth of its coverage and extensive bibliography. It would also be useful for those wishing to learn about polytene chromosome for teaching purposes, and it should be in the library of any institution with significant biological teaching and research activities.