From DNA to Diversity / Edition 2

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In this landmark work, the author team led by Dr. Sean Carroll presents the general principles of the genetic basis of morphological change through a synthesis of evolutionary biology with genetics and embryology. In this extensively revised second edition, the authors delve into the latest discoveries, incorporating new coverage of comparative genomics, molecular evolution of regulatory proteins and elements, and microevolution of animal development.

  • An accessible text, focusing on the most well-known genes, developmental processes and taxa.
  • Builds logically from developmental genetics and regulatory mechanisms to evolution at different genetic morphological levels.
  • Adds major insights from recent genome studies, new evo-devo biology research findings, and a new chapter on models of variation and divergence among closely related species.
  • Provides in-depth focus on key concepts through well-developed case studies.
  • Features clear, 4-color illustrations and photographs, chapter summaries, references and a glossary.
  • Presents the research of Dr. Carroll, a pioneer in the field and the past president of the Society for Developmental Biology.

An Instructor manual CD-ROM for this title is available. Please contact our Higher Education team at for more information.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Sean Carroll, author of one of the books under review and a coauthor of another, has made important contributions to the understanding of evolution and development. From DNA to Diversity, written with two other scientists, is the second edition of a book that has become a classic for students of evolution."

The New York Review of Books, Volume LIII, Number 8

"With almost poetic ease, the authors tell a highly complex story without distorting its scientific substance. The story line goes through the levels of biological hierarchy all the way to the details of gene regulation and emerges with a deeper understanding of biological diversity. In Sean Carroll developmental evolution has found its Darwin."

Gunter Wagner, Yale University

"This book will be an excellent introductory text, exciting newcomers to the field, be they students in biology, or experts in either evolutionary biology or embryology who want to gain an appreciation for the insights developmental genetics is providing into the evolution of animal diversity."

Cliff Tabin, Harvard University Medical School

"From DNA to Diversity is written for a general audience, including undergraduates, with an interest in developmental and evolutionary biology, and it is a joy to read. Using striking examples, the authors summarize the current state of thinking on the interconnectedness between developmental genetics and evolutionary diversification."

Axel Meyer, University of Konstanz; Nature

"This book helps to fill a gap in the teaching of evolutionary theory that arose because developmental biology was not a direct participant in the evolutionary synthesis….This is an outstanding account of the latest findings in molecular developmental biology."

James W. Valentine, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

"The authors have done an excellent job of distilling the large and complex literature on molecular genetics that is pertinent to understanding how gene networks evolve... The writing is consistently clear, concise, and engaging. "

Gregory A. Wray, Duke University; Science

"Carroll, Weatherbee, and Grenier have produced a wonderful and exciting introduction to the field of evolutionary developmental biology....Newcomers and aficionados will find this a compelling read."

Martin J. Cohn, University of Florida; Evolution and Development

"...this is one book that everybody should read who wants to know why 'evo-devo' is such a hot topic right now."

Manfred Laubichler, Arizona State University

"From DNA to Diversity can be, and should be read by College and University students as well as scientists out of the field, who want to be informed of what is new and promising in biology."

Jean Deutsch, Universite Phillippe et Marie Curie, Paris; BioEssays

"An engaging style, clear, four-colour illustrations, and up-to-date content all combine to make this text a highly accessible and definitive synthesis of the field."

Ethology, Ecology and Evolution

“This highly technical textbook facilitates learning by its conversational tone, summarization of important points [and] exciting case studies…Beautifully illustrated… this book is a pleasure to read.”
Southeastern Naturalist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405119504
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 268
  • Sales rank: 1,256,417
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean B. Carroll is currently an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Wisconsin. His research for the past twenty years has focused on the genetics of animal development and evolution, and yielded many original discoveries as to the mechanisms underlying the making and evolution of animal form.

Jennifer K. Grenier is currently a senior scientist in the Microarray Group at Mirus Corporation in Madison, Wisconsin. Her scientific interests include the evolution of development, comparative genomics, and innovative technologies for functional genomics research.

Scott D. Weatherbee is a research fellow at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He studies the developmental genetics of limb formation and patterning.

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Table of Contents


1. A Brief History of Animals.

2. The Genetic Toolkit for Development.

3. Building Animals.

4. Evolution of the Toolkit.

5. Diversification of Body Plans and Body Parts.

6. Evolution of Morphological Novelties.

7. Morphological Variation and Species Divergence.

8. From DNA to Diversity: The Primacy of Regulatory Evolution.



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