The book gives a broad overview of recombinant DNA techniques for the behavioral neuroscientist, with illustrative examples of applications. Species covered include rodents (mainly mice), Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans and Danio rerio. Experimental techniques required to characterize the behavioral phenotypes of mutant animals is provided. Several aspects of novel molecular-genetic techniques are overviewed and possible research strategies are explained. The sections of the book start with general descriptions of techniques followed by illustrative examples. It is divided into six sections. Section 1, bioinformatics and genomics research. Section 2, top-down strategies, where the researcher starts with the phenotype and then analyzes the associated genes; bottom-up strategies, where the physiological chain leading to a phenotype is analyzed starting from the gene product. Section 3, transgenic approaches in rodents including overexpressing foreign genes and gene-targeting; systemic manipulation approaches directly targeting the central nervous system and methods used with invertebrates. Section 4, methods used to evaluate relevant behavioral phenotypes, including learning and aggression. Section 5, examples on molecular brain research in man. Section 6, ethical aspects of research in this field.
Wim E. Crusio is a Research Director at the French National Research Council (CNRS). With over 35 years experience in mouse behavioral neurogenetics and the phenotyping of mouse behavior, his recent interests cover mouse models of depression, autism and Fragile X Syndrome.