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Principles of Development

Sixth Edition

Lewis Wolpert, Cheryll Tickle, and Alfonso Martinez Arias

April 2019

ISBN: 9780198800569

768 pages

In Stock

Price: £52.99

All the key principles that students need to know, underpinned by experimental evidence and molecular detail.



All the key principles of developmental biology that students need to know, underpinned by experimental evidence, and an exploration of the molecular basis of the subject.

  • Emphasis throughout on the underlying principles - the commonalities between different organisms and their development - enables students to get a clear sense of the 'big picture' of the subject.
  • Key points at the beginning and end of every chapter, with concise summaries at the end of every section, reinforce the essential concepts that students should understand.
  • Custom-drawn artwork makes the visualisation of processes and mechanisms in this challenging subject as straightforward as possible.
  • Opportunities for problem solving are presented throughout the text and website, including short and long answer questions at the end of each chapter, interactive online MCQs, and online 'Journal Clubs'.
  • Medical boxes explore key developmental diseases and place the subject in the context of human health and disease.
  • Further experimental detail, including Experimental boxes, discuss both classic and current experimental research, demonstrating 'how we know what we know'.
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

New to this edition

  • Significantly enhanced organisation sees the text sorted via processes, reinforcing key concepts.
  • Restructured sections on the Drosophila body plan ensure major concepts and principles are explained with the right amount and level of supporting experimental evidence, rather than overwhelming the reader.
  • Extended coverage of new experiments on morphogenesis and differentiation, as well as new techniques such as CRISPR.
  • Greatly expanded plant examples include references on evolution and development and sections on vernalization.

About the Author(s)

Lewis Wolpert, Emeritus Professor of Biology, University College London, Cheryll Tickle, Professor Emeritus, University of Bath, and Alfonso Martinez Arias, Professor of Developmental Mechanics, University of Cambridge

Lewis Wolpert is Emeritus Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine, in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London, London, UK. He is the author of The Triumph of the Embryo, A Passion for Science, The Unnatural Nature of Science, and Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Cheryll Tickle is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, Bath, UK

Alfonso Martinez Arias is Professor of Developmental Mechanics at the University of Cambridge, UK

Table of Contents

    1:History and basic concepts
    2:Drosophila life cycle and development of the body plan
    3:Vertebrate life cycles, experimental techniques & human development
    4:Laying down the vertebrate body plan: Xenopus and zebrafish
    5:Laying down and completing the vertebrate body plan: chick and mouse
    6:Development of nematodes and sea urchins
    7:Morphogenesis: change in form in the early embryo
    8:Cell differentiation & stem cells
    9:Germ cells, fertilization & sex
    11:Development of the nervous system
    12:Growth, post-embryonic development and regeneration
    13:Plant life cycle and development
    14:Evolution and development


"An extremely well written book that explains the major developmental concepts and processes in a clear and concise manner, approachable to students. I find the provision of in silico practical activities and on-line journal club supported by lecturer notes extremely helpful for my teaching. Together with on-line MCQs, I use these to test the students' knowledge and help them develop deep understanding and enthusiasm for the subject." - Dr Aida Rajic, University of Suffolk

"The organisation and clarity of the writing and figures together really help to convey the principles of Developmental Biology to the enquiring student. This is supplemented by the provision of questions and some online material to cement and broaden understanding. " - Dr Michael Taylor, Cardiff University

"A really good introduction to developmental biology, covering all the core topics students need to know. The writing and figures are very clear, and there are very useful online resources for both the student and the lecturer." - Dr Joanna Richardson, University of Sussex

"Well written, excellent diagrams, nice online resources (especially the signalling pathway animations)." - Dr Thomas Butts, University of Liverpool

"This book provides a detailed description of all essential aspects of developmental biology, in addition to some information about evolution in relation to developmental biology." - Dr Hegias Mira Bontenbal and Dr Willy M Baarends, University Medical Centre Rotterdam

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

Principles of Development is supported by online resources and is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats.

The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

The online resources to accompany the book include:

For students:
-Test your understanding with multiple choice questions and answer guidance to long-answer questions from the book
-Gain a three dimensional perspective of development by watching the movies of developing model organisms
-View the signalling pathway animations to see these complex processes broken down step by step
-Expand your knowledge and guide your studies with the suggested web activities
- Examine and interpret raw data obtained by Cheryll Tickle and members of her laboratory and presented in silico

For registered adopters of the text:
-Download the figures from the book to use in lectures and hand-outs
-Help your students delve into the research literature with the Journal Club
-Download the test bank or import it into your VLE
-PowerPoint of In silico practicals to use in class