Synopses & Reviews
Since the Russian edition of this book was published in 1975 many new research works have appeared which have made necessary some additions for the English edition, to reflect progress in molecular developmental genetics. Recent important findings in this field have brought about essential corrections to the concept of genetic regulation of the process of cell differentiation. The discovery of the mosaic structure of a gene prompted the re- evaluation of our considerations about the regulation of gene activity in eukaryotes, and the data about transcriptional events during ontogenesis are of great importance as well. Formerly it was generally accepted that a derepression of genes was responsible for cell differentiation in the process of develop- ment. Recently three important conclusions have been derived (Davidson and Britten, 1979) which help to pose the problem in a new way: 1) Only a small part of single copy sequences of DNA is represented in nuclear RNA of a given type of cell or tissue: 10% to 20% in sea urchin embryos, 11 % in rat liver, 4% to 6% in Drosophila cell culture, etc. Since only about 10% of single copy sequences represent the structural genes (Davidson and Britten, 1973), transcription of almost the whole set of structural genes occurs.