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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 52

PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: Molecular Genetic Analysis of Plant Development and Metabolism
by Dr. G. Coruzzi, University, New York (U.S.A.)., and Dr. P. Puigdomenech, CID_CISC, Barcelona (Spain)

This book (NATO ASI SERIES H81) contains a large proportion of the lectures given at the Advanced Science Institute held in Mallorca, Spain in May 1994. These NATO ASIs on Plant Molecular Biology are a tradition within the field and consequently the books produced every three years are amongst the best testimonies of the evolution of the subject. This time the meeting was centered around studies involving cases where molecular and genetic approaches together allow for the understanding of basic questions of plant metabolism and development. At present most of these efforts are centered on ARABIDOPSIS, the favourite model plant for many of these studies, but other systems such as maize, tomato, etc., were also considered.

The book has six parts: In the PLANT DEVELOPMENT chapters results are presented on the genes controlling floral and root development, embryogenesis and auto_compaibility phenomena. In the PLANT METABOLISM section nitrogen assimilation results are discussed as well as tryptophan and starch biosynthesis. A number of examples of genes regulated by hormones and the efforts to understand how plant cells respond to hormones are described in the RESPONSES TO HORMONES AND STRESS chapters. Of course one of the main subject of present Molecular Biology is the understanding of the mechanisms of GENE REGULATION and examples of different approaches to the subject are given in the 12 chapters of this section. Examples include nuclear and organelle genes, analysis of promoters and the uses of molecular technology to control specific physiological processes such as fruit ripening. The two last sections as devoted to POST_TRANSCRIPTIONAL REGULATION AND MAPPING AND TRANSFORMATION.

In general, the approaches using molecular and genetic methods to the understanding of plant metabolism and development are beginning to explain how plant development is regulated by specific genes and provide tools for the understanding of plant physiology as well as the interactions between these two types of processes. The reader will find excellent examples of these types of studies in this volume.
Reference books: A140, A212, H81

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