Molecular genetics in fisheries

Molecular genetics in fisheries

Book Reviews I J. Exp. Mar. Biol. and Ecol. 191 (1995) 119-132 of fish biology; it will be going on the reading list for my undergraduate fish biolo...

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Book Reviews

I J. Exp. Mar. Biol. and Ecol. 191 (1995) 119-132

of fish biology; it will be going on the reading list for my undergraduate fish biology.


courses in

Stephen Hutchinson Department of Oceanography University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ UK


Genetics in Fisheries, edited by Gary R. Carvalho

Chapman & Hall, London; (paperback).

& Tony J. Pitcher; 1995; 141 pp., GBP 24.99; ISBN 0-412-62950-X

This slim volume is a concise summary of the current ‘state of the art’ of the application of molecular genetic techniques in fisheries research. The book consists of eight separate articles by internationally recognized experts in the field. The first four chapters are detailed reviews of the methods and applications, with extensive reference to the most recent literature. Chapter 1 (L.K. Park & P. Moran) reviews the theoretical background and development of molecular techniques in this field, and is a very useful starting point for the fisheries biologist or fisheries manager with little previous knowledge of the subject. It is emphasised that the growth of DNA-based studies will continue to provide useful information, but the value of the older protein-based technology (isozyme analysis) is also stressed. There are useful figures and tables which summarise the factors to be considered in the choice of a method - including economic considerations. R.D. Ward & P.M. Grewe make a comparison of the various approaches such as allozyme and mitochondrial DNA analysis and “genetic fingerprinting” via analyses of variable numbers of tandem repeats and polymerase chain reaction. Examples of applications including species identification, genetic variation in aquaculture and analysis of stock structure are considered. The chapter by G-R. Carvalho & L. Hauser is a critical evaluation of the “stock concept” and ways in which genetic information may be applied to the exploitation of a fishery. In the final review chapter, M. Ferguson considers the application of molecular genetics in aquaculture management, including selective breeding programmes and the important and sensitive area of interactions between farmed and wild fish. The final part of the book consists of very short (4-5 pages) “Points of View” by authorities in this field (F.M. Utter, A. Ferguson, J.M. Wright, P. Bentzen, R. Lincoln) - providing a personal view of the continuing diversity of opinions and suggestions for the best way forward. The book includes a glossary of terms - very useful for the non-specialist. This volume was originally published as a special issue of the journal, Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, and the individual chapters do come across as




/ .I. Exp. Mar. Biot. and Ed.

191 (1995)


free-standing independent review articles. For this reason, there are several examples of repetition and little cross-reference between chapters and I gained the suspicion that the decision to issue the articles as a book was an afterthought by the publishers. Had this been intended fram the start, the editors might have assembled the contributions differently. However, this is a minor irritation, and for those without access to the journal, this will provide an invaluable snapshot of a rapidly evolving field. As well as practising scientists and fisheries managers, the book would be a useful source text for students. However, in spite of the quality of the articles, the small amount of information and the fact that this has been published as a special issue of a journal does make the price of GBP 24.99 seem very excessive. C.B. Munn Department of Biological Sciences University of Plymouth Plymouth PL4 8AA UK Limtnology now. A Paradigm of Planetary Problems, edited by R. Margalef; Elsevier Science, Amsterdam; available in US and Canada from Elsevier Science Publishing Co. Inc., P.O. Box 882, Madison Square Station, New York, NY 10159; 1994; 552 pp.; Dfl. 340.00, US$l94.5~ ISBN O-444-89826-3.

The professed aim of this book is “to offer the current knowledge, present objectives and future perspectives of the most important issues in modern limnology”. This it does admirably. Furthermore, in doing this, it also aimed to stress “the role of inland waters as a link between the continental, or terrestrial, and the oceanic parts of the biosphere”. This it does not do to any great extent. There are occasional references to the marine environment but not enough to provide even a broad picture of the influences of the freshwater systems on the marine environment. The book has evolved from a series of courses on limnology organized by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute at Zaragoza. Margalef introduces the volume in his usual inimitable and interesting style and does allude to the marine environment. There are then chapters on phytoplankton (J. Capblancq, J. Catalan), prokaryotology (C. Pedros-Alio, R. Guerrero), macrophytes (C.M. Duart, D. Planas, J. Peiiuelas), interannual variability in limnic ecosystems (J. Catalan, E.J. Fee), a review of transport processes in lakes (J. Imberger), lotic ecosystems (J.V. Ward), rivers (N. Prat, J.V. Ward), Spanish reservoirs (J. Armengol, J. Toja, A. Vidal), chemical composition of lakes (R. Psenner, J. Catalan), northern Canadian lakes (D. Planas), tropical South American rivers (J.G. Tundisi), austral South American rivers (A.A. Bonetto), dry land water systems (F.A. Comin. W.D. Williams), political aspects of limnology (J.R. Vallentyne) and a final short chapter on “What is limnology?” by W.T. Edmondson.