Genetic bases of fish selection.
Professor Valentin S. Kirpichnikov, Academy of Sciences, Leningrad, the author of a series of papers on fish genetics from 1935 to the present, now collates more than 2000 international references in a comprehensive text on fish genetics supported by his extensive experience. This is an English language translation by G.G. Gause of a revised and extended version of his 1979 book in Russian. The translation includes work published in 1979 and 1980. Obviously, Professor Kirpichnikov is very familiar with much of the research in this field of interest, both outside and inside his homeland. The author's prime concern is that the material bases of heredity should be clearly understood by managers of fish hatcheries and of natural fisheries. He stresses the necessity for precise genetic knowledge about fish stocks, anticipating that the necessary replenishment of natural fisheries resources should be done selectively. His introductory account of the genetic code mechanism is followed by what is probably the only comprehensive account of known fish karyotypes and the history of widespread polyploidy in fishes. Examples of genes coding for proteins, particularly enzymes, demonstrate genetic variability in individual fish and in fish populations. Comparative protein types are used to construct phylogenetic trees for fish taxa, and some recent attempts trace the evolution of linkage groups in fishes. Pond and aquarium fishes provide numerous examples of more traditional genetic segregation, and the genetic aspects of quantitative traits are reviewed. Accounts of hybridogenesis and gynogenesis exemplify the available opportunities to fix heterosis and accelerate the development of inbred strains of fish reared in artificial conditions. The origin of many ornamental varieties and some special breeds of fish are described. The subject matter index is followed by a separate index listing names of fishes. The diversity and number may surprise readers who study domestic quadrupeds. The ten pages of names include vernacular and Linnaean synonyms essential in a book of this nature. The fishes hold a crucial position in the history of vertebrates, and are an essential source of food for livestock and humans. Our perspectives can only be enhanced as a result of the information assiduously gathered and assessed by this dedicated Russian author. Alan Jamieson