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Principles of Development

Fourth Edition

Lewis Wolpert and Cheryll Tickle

Publication Date - December 2010

ISBN: 9780199554287

720 pages
10.6 x 8.0 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $147.95

Focusing on key principles, Principles of Development distills the vast array of information in developmental biology into THE perfect one-semester text.


The process of biological development is an amazing feat of tightly regulated cellular behaviors--differentiation, movement, and growth--powerful enough to result in the emergence of a highly complex living organism from a single cell, the fertilized egg. Now in a new edition, Principles of Development clearly illustrates the universal principles that govern this process of development.

Developmental biology has grown enormously as a discipline in recent years. Designed for undergraduates, this text focuses on key principles and concepts rather than attempting to offer an encyclopedic treatment of the field. It equips students with a conceptual framework that will be invaluable to them throughout their educational careers.

Written by two highly respected and influential developmental biologists, Lewis Wolpert and Cheryll Tickle, Principles of Development, Fourth Edition, combines a careful exposition of the subject with insights from several of the world's pioneering researchers. It guides students from the fundamentals to the latest discoveries in the field.


Focuses on the underlying principles, thereby addressing one of the biggest challenges facing instructors and students of developmental biology; covering and learning in one semester the vast amount of information encapsulated by the field.

Offers the right balance of breadth and depth:
Addresses all key topics in the field in a uniformly authoritative way, but at a depth that makes it possible to deliver a coherent, well-balanced course in one semester. Rather that attempting to offer exhaustive coverage, it sets out to ensure that, at the end of the course, students have a well-rounded, sound understanding on which to base further studies.

Integrates vivid illustrations that have been carefully designed and chosen to illuminate both experiments and mechanisms, clarifying basic principles in a visual manner.

Provides focused examples, concentrated on vertebrates and Drosophila, but not to the exclusion of other organisms, such as the nematode and the sea urchin, where they best illustrate a concept.

Covers plant development--which is frequently neglected in general textbooks on developmental biology--addressing striking recent advances in the understanding of the subject.

Includes carefully selected suggestions for further reading and an extensive glossary of key terms

New to this Edition

  • Expanded content, including more examples from human development and medicine, which better reflect both course content and students' interests
  • A fully revised and updated chapter on evolutionary developmental biology
  • Expanded coverage of experimental evidence and tools
  • Additional high-quality photographs and illustrations, which reinforce the key principles presented in the text and provide an alternative route for learning
  • New end-of-chapter questions--in both essay and multiple-choice formats--to help students assimilate the material presented in the chapters
  • SUPPLEMENT: An enhanced Companion Website that offers students a hyperlinked bibliography, a flashcard glossary, multiple-choice questions, and a "Journal Club" with suggested research papers and discussion questions linked to topics featured in the book. Downloadable figures from the text are available to instructors.

Previous Publication Date(s)

August 2006
December 2001
December 1997


"This new edition is a significant and positive step in presenting a complex field of study to undergraduate students."--Craig M. Scott, Clarion University

"I like the boxes in each chapter. Experimental technique boxes work well when the reader just wants to look up a technique. Boxes are also a good way to highlight concepts, or to go into detail on subjects that may or may not be covered in lectures."--Deborah Garrity, Colorado State University

"Very clear writing style that the students will appreciate, and very clear figures."--Margaret Saha, College of William and Mary

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction to Development
    2. Development of the Drosophila Body Plan
    3. Patterning the Vertebrate Body Plan I : Life Cycles and Experimental Techniques
    4. Patterning the Vertebrate Body Plan II: Axes and Germ Layers
    5. Patterning the Vertebrate Body Plan III: The Early Nervous System and the Somites
    6. Development of Nematodes, Sea Urchins and Ascidians
    7. Plant Development
    8. Morphogenesis: Change in Form in the Early Embryo
    9. Germ Cells, Fertilization and Sex
    10. Cell Differentiation and Stem Cells
    11. Organogenesis
    12. Development of the Nervous System
    13. Growth and Post-embryonic Development
    14. Regeneration
    15. Evolution and Development