Biology of the Kinetoplastida

Volume 1, edited by W. H. R. Lumsden and D. A. Evans. xxvi + 563 pages, illustrated. Academic Press, Inc., 111 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10003. 1976. $45.50

Dennis M. DwyerCell Biology & Immunology Section Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20014

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A wide variety of free living, commensal, and parasitic flagellates constitute the protozoan order Kinetoplastida. Any attempt to consider the group as a whole is, therefore, both an ambitious and difficult undertaking. However, the current multi-authored volume and its companion (Volume 2, to be published) have accepted this challenge.

In the present volume, chapters 1 and 2 excepted, emphasis is placed primarily upon the trypanosomes. The diversity in morphology and habitat among kinetoplastid flagellates is covered in the initial chapter by K. Vickerman, and also provided is an updated cogent summary of revised classification for the group. Possibly one of the most significant contributions to this volume is the succeeding chapter by K. Vickerman and T. M. Preston concerning the comparative cell biology of kinetoplastids. The latter provides an excellent current review of this diverse topic, and contains a considerable amount of original thought and previously unpublished research material.