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The Biology of Reproduction
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Book description

Reproduction is a fundamental feature of life, it is the way life persists across the ages. This book offers new, wider vistas on this fundamental biological phenomenon, exploring how it works through the whole tree of life. It explores facets such as asexual reproduction, parthenogenesis, sex determination and reproductive investment, with a taxonomic coverage extended over all the main groups - animals, plants including 'algae', fungi, protists and bacteria. It collates into one volume perspectives from varied disciplines - including zoology, botany, microbiology, genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, animal and plant physiology, and ethology - integrating information into a common language. Crucially, the book aims to identify the commonalties among reproductive phenomena, while demonstrating the diversity even amongst closely related taxa. Its integrated approach makes this a valuable reference book for students and researchers, as well as an effective entry point for deeper study on specific topics.


'Fusco’s and Minelli’s The Biology of Reproduction is impressive in scope. Rather than adopting a more restricted perspective on reproduction - be it on reproduction in mammals, animals, or plants - this book provides a comprehensive overview of the various similarities and variations of this central biological phenomenon across the whole tree of life. In an easily accessible style and exemplified through a wide range of illustrations, it offers the reader a great stepping stone to more in-depth comparative studies. Its greatest strengths are twofold. First, through its impressive taxonomic coverage it directly counteracts longstanding biases in our understanding of reproduction imposed through the selective use of a few model organisms. Second, the authors nicely link empirical findings with conceptual discussions on biological individuality and the boundaries between reproduction and development. Thus, this book is of use not only for biology students and professors but also for philosophers of biology. Highly recommended.'

Jan Baedke - Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany 

'Crucially, The Biology of Reproduction successfully identifies the commonalties among reproductive phenomena, while demonstrating the diversity even amongst closely related taxa. Its integrated approach makes The Biology of Reproduction a valuable reference book for students and researchers, as well as an effective entry point for deeper study on specific topics.'

James A. Cox Source: Midwest Book Review

‘[Giuseppe Fusco and Alessandro Minelli] have created an excellent new resource on a subject that is almost impossible to define, bringing together diagrams, photographs, and illustrations from many sources. This is truly a reference work, yet it prominently features accessibility … Readers will no doubt find the coverage of this interplay interesting.’

F. W. Yow Source: Choice

‘Overall, The Biology of Reproduction offers readers a very comprehensive review of reproductive biology that cuts across all clades. This will be especially valuable for biologists who do most of their work within a relatively small subset of organisms, and for whom many novel reproductive strategies may be unknown … the book will be valuable to anyone seeking a detailed reference for comparative reproductive biology, where it makes sense to prioritize breadth ahead of depth. Moreover, it would also be a suitable choice as a textbook for a course on reproductive biology or the evolution of reproductive systems (at either the undergraduate or postgraduate level), since the text is organized well and easy to read.’

P. William Hughes Source: Evolution

‘… places reproduction at the forefront and beautifully summarizes the vast array of reproductive strategies from a diverse range of organisms, including bacteria, plants and animals. This book is unparalleled in scope and in addition to covering the natural history of reproduction and highlighting fascinating life-history strategies … covers the fundamental aspects of reproduction including key definitions, genetics and cytogenetics, and sex determination … well-written and organized with excellent taxonomic and subject indexes … this book is beautifully illustrated with informative and well-thought-out diagrams. The Biology of Reproduction is, therefore, suitable as an introductory or a more advanced text … is also a valuable primer for students and researchers interested in comparative and evolutionary reproductive biology … provides a comprehensive introduction to the diverse range of reproductive strategies found in nature and in doing so clarifies key terminology and concepts in a text which will be equally valuable to the student and expert alike.’

Elizabeth J. Duncan Source: Invertebrate Reproduction & Development

‘Fusco and Minelli’s The Biology of Reproduction is a much-needed and welcome addition. It allows readers to place whatever model system and aspect of reproductive biology they seek into a broader context, across levels of biological organization but also in relation to the breathtaking diversity that exists among living systems in when, where, and by what means the continuity of life is made possible.’

Armin P. Moczek Source: The Quarterly Review of Biology

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