• Cambridge Scholars Publishing

    "[Genetically Modified Organisms: A Scientific-Political Dialogue on a Meaningless Meme is] presents the debate associated with introducing GMOs as a traditional debate between science and progress against dogma. After reading it, I hope that science will win for the sake of all of us."

    - Professor David Zilberman, University of California at Berkeley

Kin Recognition in Protists and Other Microbes: Genetics, Evolution, Behavior and Health

Kin Recognition in Protists and Other Microbes is the first volume dedicated entirely to the genetics, evolution and behavior of cells capable of discriminating and recognizing taxa (other species), clones (other cell lines) and kin (as per gradual genetic proximity). It covers the advent of microbial models in the field of kin recognition; the polymorphisms of green-beard genes in social amebas, yeast and soil bacteria; the potential that unicells have to learn phenotypic cues for recognition; the role of clonality and kinship in pathogenicity (dysentery, malaria, sleeping sickness and Chagas); the social and spatial structure of microbes and their biogeography; and the relevance of unicells’ cooperation, sociality and cheating for our understanding of the origins of multicellularity. Offering over 200 figures and diagrams, this work will appeal to a broad audience, including researchers in academia, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and research undergraduates. Science writers and college educators will also find it informative and practical for teaching.


Guillermo Paz-y-Miño-C is co-Director of New England Science Public and an evolutionary biologist. He is the author of 150 publications, including Measuring the Evolution Controversy and Evolution Stands Faith Up: Reflections on Evolutions’ Wars.

Avelina Espinosa is a Professor of Biology and Coordinator of Biotechnology Programs at Roger Williams University, USA. She is a molecular microbiologist and the author of 40 publications, including co-authorship of Measuring the Evolution Controversy.

"New theories predict phenomena we see only when we know to look. A stunning example of this is kin recognition, predicted by Hamilton’s theory of inclusive fitness. This book is a rich treatment of kin recognition and discrimination in the microbial world, made particularly accessible by a wonderful collection of diagrams and illustrations. Anyone interested in fascinating new stories of how microbes treat their kin should read this book."

Joan E. Strassmann Charles Rebstock Professor of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis

"This a highly timely and interesting book. People not being too familiar with microbiology will find it a fascinating and inspiring introduction into kin recognition in non-animal systems, which thereby challenges our thinking of underlying cognitive processes such as learning. Students of evolutionary biology will find it highly useful to read, for example, about the advent of multicellularity and sociality, leading to major transitions in evolution. Researchers in microbiology will appreciate a comprehensive summary of the field, with some additional dives into methodological details. Teachers will take advantage of the more than 120 detailed figures showing experimental setups, results and schematic diagrams, as well as of the great appendix linking to recent media resources that can be downloaded and included in lectures... This is a great book, which I can highly recommend."

Joachim G. Frommen Division of Behavioural Ecology, Institute for Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern

"Paz-y-Miño-C and Espinosa have produced a real gem! Anyone interested in the evolution of life on Earth from any perspective would find this a great read. The authors beautifully synthesize, for the first time, the historical literature (including their own considerable contributions) on taxa-, clone-, and kin-discrimination/recognition in unicellular eukaryotes (protists) and other microbes. They contribute their own observations and insights, as well as an ability to place what is known about the genetic, behavioral and chemical aspects of kin recognition into a balanced evolutionary perspective. The carefully-chosen case studies, definitions of terms, and summaries provided in each chapter result in a book that is accessible to a wide range of readers; a valuable resource for experts in the field, as well as students and interested non-experts looking for a stimulating and very thought-provoking volume."

Virginia P. Edgcomb Associate Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

“Paz-y-Miño-C and Espinosa are both experts in the field of kin recognition and kin selection research. Kin Recognition is written for a specialized audience, in the style of scientific review articles. Thus, it is one that will appeal to many readers, from students of microbiology to beyond. Individual chapters might be of particular interest as a basis for discussion in seminar-based courses. The bulk of the book explores the research that has uncovered the molecular basis behind the recognition of, and response to, kin in model species. This social behavior needs a way to discriminate and to avoid exploitation by ‘cheaters’ who might take advantage of cooperation without contributing anything of themselves. Whether you think of kin with a warm feeling of camaraderie, or with a wariness toward a threat that might take advantage of your connection, this book on biological kinship is worth checking out.”
Daniel Haeusser
Associate Blogger at Small Things Considered, American Society for Microbiology

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-5275-0764-5

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-0764-7

Release Date: 28th February 2018

Pages: 442

Price: £67.99

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