H.J. Ridgway, T.R. Glare, S.A. Wakelin and M. O'Callaghan (2011)
RRP $39.95. Order from Nationwide Book Distributors.
Molecular biology, and particularly the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), is a relatively new science but has contributed immensely to enhancing the productivity of, and solving problems in, New Zealand's primary industries. Currently, a large and often daunting array of molecular techniques is available for researchers. The goal of the "Paddock to PCR" symposium was to inform plant protection researchers about the potential, pitfalls, advances and applications in molecular biology by providing examples of where it has been used in a practical setting. It included keynote speakers from Australia and the USA and brought together both those already using molecular techniques as well as those having limited familiarity with this type of research. This book presents the papers written by the speakers, starting with a well balanced introduction that sets the scene and explains the basics of the science. Highlights include papers on next generation sequencing as a tool to increase the rate and quantity of information gathered; the use of microsatellites to track, release and recapture plant pathogens to gather information on dispersal within paddocks and across continents; the application of bioinformatics to assimilate the vast amount of information acquired with modern molecular biology; an explanation of LAMP PCR as a novel biosecurity tool; and easy-to-understand descriptions of advanced molecular techniques such as denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and microarrays. This will be a valuable source of information for traditional plant protection scientists as well as a reference for molecular biologists.