Analysis of Biological Development (K. Kalthoff)


This text is written for undergraduates and beginning graduate students. Previous course work in cell biology and genetics will help but is not necessary. Chapters 2 and 15 summarize those elements of cell biology and genetics that are needed to make full use of this text. The text is complemented by this web site, which I use for my own teaching. In addition, McGraw-Hill maintains the publisher's web site with another set of teaching tools for this text.

Developmental Biology as an Analytical Process

My central idea in writing the second as well as the first edition has been to present developmental biology as an ongoing process of enquiry. This emphasis gives the aspiring researcher a taste of things to come, and it introduces those who just seek an education to the ways in which developmental biologists gain their knowledge. In chapter one, I discuss the surgical removal and transplantation of embryonic parts as experimental strategies that have defined embryology as a discipline in its own right. In a preview of genetic analysis in the same chapter, I introduce null alleles and gain-of-function alleles as alternate ways of removing a defined part from a system or allowing it to function at a time or place where it is normally absent. In chapter 15, where genetic and molecular analysis begin in earnest, I present gene overexpression and dominant interference as equivalents to the mutant alleles. Commonly used methods are set aside in boxes for easy reference. Throughout the text, I present key experiments in more detail than usual, and I conclude these parts with a few questions that test the students’ understanding of the analytical process. The answers to these questions will be on my web site.

Principles of Development Provide Structure and Continuity

Next to the emphasis on the analytical process, I have found it important to bring out a few general principles of development. For instance, many steps in development rely on overlapping mechanisms that complement or reinforce each other. Spemann referred to this as the principle of double insurance; I introduce this principle in the context of fertilization and then take it up again in chapters on induction and genetic control. Other principles, including stepwise default programs and reciprocal interactions, are treated in a similar fashion. I hope that these recurring principles will provide a sense of continuity and structure in the plethora of details and new results that can easily clutter the mind.

Topic Organization Fosters the Excitement of Discovery

What I have tried most to preserve in this second edition is the excitement in the field that has come with the new opportunities to bring the tools of genetic and molecular analysis to bear on the basic questions that have defined the discipline since its inception. Correspondingly, the subdivision of the text into three major parts is still the same.

New to this Edition

A separate chapter on the evolutionary theory of senescence and some of its proximate causes, topics that have matured to the point where I think they merit discussion in a textbook, is now provided The chapters on cell adhesion and the extracellular matrix, formerly in Part Three, have been combined and moved to Part One, where they fit in more naturally with gastrulation and organogenesis.
Both text and illustrations are thoroughly updated. About a third of all references are new, reflecting the rapid progress being made in the field. A similar fraction of illustrations are new or revised substantially. Full color has been introduced to improve the clarity and educational impact of the illustrations.


I am grateful to some special people who provided inspiration and support for writing this new edition. I still feel connected to my mentor, Klaus Sander, who long ago introduced me to the history and culture of developmental biology. At The University of Texas at Austin, I enjoy the company of a diverse but congenial group of colleagues whom, through countless journal club sessions and individual conversations, have broadened my outlook on developmental biology and its practitioners. My wife, Karin, has again been a source of support and balance throughout the project.

It has been a great pleasure to work with Gwen Gage and Kristina Schlegel, two expert computer illustrators who converted my rough drafts into pieces of art. Ondine Cleaver was again part of the team, this time as advisor and coordinator for all illustrations. The contributions of the McGraw-Hill team are also appreciated including those of publisher, Jim Smith, developmental editors, Deborah Allen and Jean Fornango, and the production team headed by Joyce Berendes.

The following reviewers read draft chapters and provided valuable criticisms.
Stephanie Aamodt, Louisiana State University, Shreveport
Robert C. Angerer, University of Rochester
Robert Arking, Wayne State University
Karl Aufderheide, Texas A&M University, College Station
Michael Bender, University of Georgia
Karen Bennet, University of Missouri
Antonie W. Blackler, Cornell University
Seth Blair, University of Wisconsin
Bradley Bowden, Alfred University
John L. Bowman, University of California, Davis
Maureen Brandon, Idaho State University
Marianne Bronner-Fraser, California Institute of Technology
Daniel Brower, University of Arizona
Carole Browne, Wake Forest University
Susan Bryant, University of California, Irvine
Judith Campisi, University of California, Berkely
Beverly Clendening, Hofstra University
Thomas W. Cline, University of California, Berkeley
Karen Crawford, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Yolanda Cruz, Oberlin College
Heather Dawes, University of California, Berkeley
Marie DeBerardino, Medical College of Pennsylvania
Alyce DeMarais, University of Puget Sound
Elizabeth Eldon, University of Notre Dame
Richard Elinson, University of Toronto
William Elmer, Emory University
Dennis Englin, Masters College
David Epel, Stanford University
Carol Erickson, University of California, Davis
Susan G. Ernst, Tufts University
Kathy Foltz, University of California, Santa Barbara
John Gerhart, University of California, Berkeley
Michael, Goldman, San Francisco State University
Edwin P. Groot, Miami University, Ohio
Ernst Hafen, University of Zurich
Rosalind Herlands, Richard Stockton College
Ira Herskowitz, University of California, San Francisco
Erwin Heubner, University of Manitoba
Nicholas Hole, University of Durham
Becky A. Houck, University of Portland
Andrew D. Johnson, Florida State University
Thomas E. Johnson, University of Colorado
Raymond Keller, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Gregory M. Kelly, University of Western Ontario
Kenneth Kemphues, Cornell University
Catherine Krull, University of Missouri
Ruth Lehman, New York University, School of Medicine
Sally J. Leevers, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
Larry Liddle, Long Island University
Jeanne Lust, St. John’s University
Hong Ma, Pennsylvania State University
Vicki Martin, University of North Carolina
Patrick H. Masson, University of Wisconsin
Jeffery B. McCallum, East Carolina University
Cathy McElwain, Loyola Marymount University
Andrew McMahon, Harvard University
Judy Medoff, St. Louis University
Marco Milan, European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Susan Mosier, University of Nebraska
Diana G. Myles, University of California, Davis
Jeanette Natzle, University of California
Deborah O’Dell, Mary Washington University
Nipam Patel, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Gail R. Patt, Boston University
Jane Petschek, Miami University of Ohio
Mitchell Price, Pennsylvania State University
Deborah Ricker, York College of Pennsylvania
Lynn M. Riddiford, University of Washington
Karel Rogers, Grand Valley State University
Joel H. Rothman, University of California, Santa Barbara
Helmut Sauer, Texas A & M University
Gary Schoenwolf, University of Utah
Trudi Schupback, Princeton University
Susan Singer, Carleton College
Hazel L.Sive, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mary Lee Sparling, California State University, Northridge
Kathryn Tosney, University of Michigan
Gunnar Valdimarsson, University of Manitoba
Walter Walthall, Georgia State University
William Wood, University of Colorado
Phillip Zinsmeister, Oglethorpe University

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