Summary and Info
'Avian Molecular Evolution and Systematics' provides students and researches alike with an unparalleled review of avian molecular techniques in sytematics and phylogenetics. David P. Mindell has compiled an authoritative collection of contributions from ornithologists and molecular biologists that cover both theoretical and practical applications. The chapters trace the theory behind the altered gene order of avian mtDNA and provide informative reviews of the utility of mtDNA genes in systematics, phylogeny, phylogeography and deciphering patterns of avian evolution. In addition to covering mtDNA a chapter is included on the theory and application of microsatellites, a relatively new technique to molecular biology. It is however unfortunate that there are not more avian microsatellite examples besides that which covers relatedness between cooperative displaying male manakins. However the author does include other applications of microsatellite data (quantitative gene flow and genetic variation) using gray seals and bighorn sheep as examples. This book ends with a chapter on ancient DNA that reviews some of the more commonly used extraction procedures for ancient DNA and again provides examples covering systematics and paleoecology. Although the chapters do cover some molecular procedures the book does not serve as a laboratory guideline to working with avian DNA, rather it covers the more interesting theoretical aspects of avian speciation and evolution. In general 'Avian Molecular Evolution and Systematics' is indispensable for the avian molecular biologist who is interested in phylogenetics, systematics and the evolution of behavior.
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