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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Cummings, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Description: This book consists of three sections. The first is a single chapter that introduces DNA markers and their utility as research tools. The second consists of 14 chapters, each of which includes detailed experimental protocols for the use of DNA markers, such as microsatellites, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers, and fingerprinting by PCR. The third section includes six chapters that give an overview of how DNA markers are being used in diverse areas, including taxonomy, genome research, ecology, and evolution. Although the emphasis in this section is on applications in plant research, it is clear that DNA markers can be used to solve a wide range of research problems.
Purpose: The purpose is to introduce experimental protocols for DNA markers.
Audience: It is intended for the bench scientist wishing to learn how to use the powerful techniques of molecular biotechnology, but it will also be useful to those teaching advanced courses in biotechnology. Although a chapter on the basics of molecular hybridization is included, those who are familiar with the basic techniques of molecular biology, such as restriction digestion and gel electrophoresis, will have an easier time with these protocols.
Features: The book is well-organized and includes several useful features. The small format and spiral binding make it easy to use on the lab bench; the glossary is essential in decoding the endless acronyms and abbreviations in this field; and the appendix listing suppliers for equipment and reagents will save researchers time and energy. An index is also included.
Assessment: This is a useful, timely book which should help introduce workers in a variety of disciplines to the value of DNA markers and to the detailed protocols needed to bring these techniques to the lab bench.