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Insect Physiology and Biochemistry, Third Edition

James L. Nation, Sr.
Publication Date:
July 28, 2015
Content Details:
690 pages

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List Price:   $105.00

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  • About the Book

    Book Summary

    Employing the clear, student-friendly style that made previous editions so popular, Insect Physiology and Biochemistry, Third Edition presents an engaging and authoritative guide to the latest findings in the dynamic field of insect physiology. The book supplies a comprehensive picture of the current state of the function, development, and reproduction of insects. Expanded and updated, this third edition continues to challenge conventional entomological wisdom with the latest research and analytical interpretations. It will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students and to working scientists in the biological sciences who need to possess a firm knowledge of the broad principles of insect physiology.

    See What’s New in the Third Edition:

    • New chapters covering biological rhythms and insect symbioses
    • Adds references from the last several years to bring each chapter up to date
    • Provides new review and self-study questions that aid in distinguishing the most important information and concepts
    • References to websites where illustrative materials have been provided by scientists and contains approximately 2,600 citations
    • Twenty-four pages of color illustrations with new illustrations that emphasize genetic and molecular developments in insect biology
    • Update of the rapidly developing area of postembryonic development of insects, especially the role of the juvenile hormone in insect development

    While this edition provides new information and significant updates, it also maintains all the features that made previous editions so popular, such as citations that enable you to get to the primary literature easily and understand the thinking, experimentation, and techniques that have enabled the current understanding of the physiology of insects. And clear writing with technical terms explained in the text where they occur. With more than 250 illustrations to help explain physiological concepts and important anatomical details, the book remains the most easily accessible guide to key concepts in the field.


      • Includes a new chapter on Photoperiodism capturing the dynamic research to elucidate the genes and molecular events involved in circadian rhythms and seasonal responses in insects
      • Introduces a new chapter on The Microfauna and Microflora of Insects, which will cover the role of microorganisms in insects and the transmission of disease organisms to humans and domestic animals
      • Integrates an in-depth discussion of metamorphosis into the Hormone and Development chapter, looking at the point of view of the two different lifestyles of larva and adult
      • Adds most recent developments throughout the book, especially in the Hormone and Development, Diapause, and Immunity chapters
      • Contains a sixteen page color insert


      "This textbook introduces insect biochemistry and physiology for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students. It covers the basic anatomical and physiological systems and includes chapters such as "Embryogenesis," "Nutrition," "Hormones and Development," "Diapause," "Flight," "Immunity," and "Semiochemicals." This third edition (2nd ed., 2008; 1st ed., CH, Jul'02, 39-6414) includes two new chapters on topics of considerable recent research, "Biological Rhythms" and "Insect Symbioses." Although the text of the other 19 chapters from the second edition was not updated, Nation (emer., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville) updated each chapter's list of references. A "Review and Self-Study Questions" section was also added to each chapter. ... The volume is clearly written and well organized, facilitating its use as a reference work. Overall, it provides a comprehensive overview of the subject; it will be a useful starting point for students and others seeking to learn the basics of this diverse and broad field. Summing up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners."
      —R. E. Lee Jr., Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA, for CHOICE, March 2016


      "Insect Physiology and Biochemistry provides an excellent introduction of the subjects for graduate students and advanced undergraduates for whom it is written and will serve as a primer for the non specialist eager to employ insects as their research models. The text is clear, well arranged, and a pleasure to read. It presents the broad concepts and focuses on contemporary references…In all, this textbook is an impressive work, emblematic of Nation’s ability to present clearly the salient highlights of insect physiology and biochemistry. Its wide adoption as a teaching text is assured."
      —William S. Bowers, The University of Arizona, USA Journal of Chemical Ecology, Vol. 28, No. 12

      "… This 2nd edition textbook does a nice job of presenting information to students. The 2nd edition of course has been updated. Each chapter has received some updating with most noticeable improvements to the figures. The font has not changed but a better paper has been used to make the text and figures easier to read. The front cover might even be more visually appealing to some, although the content is what is important. In addition several chapters have been added to improve the 2nd edition. One is on diapauses and one about immunity. These were added in response to suggestions made by reviewers of the first edition and are important aspects to include in a text on insect physiology. Studies on diapauses have occurred for quite some time, but more recent insights into the molecular mechanisms behind diapause were also included. Insect immunity is an area of insect physiology that is currently receiving a considerable amount of research attention. This chapter provides students with an overview of this important topic. …Other changes that have improved the second edition are the expansion of chapters on vision and flight. The new edition has been improved with the addition of some color plates placed in the middle of the book. … I would recommend this textbook to all students, faculty, and other scholars studying insects. The new edition is improved and covers almost every aspect of insect physiology. Every student of entomology should have a course in insect physiology and up to date textbooks are required to help teach these courses. James Nation has taught insect physiology and other courses for quite some time and has incorporated that knowledge into this textbook. The references at the end of each chapter are invaluable to new students and old who want to find out more information about certain topics. As more biologists become interested in insects as more genomes are sequenced they will want to know more about how the genes they are studying fit into the physiology and biochemistry of insects in general. Control measures based more on the specifics of insect physiology will also be developed in the future and background information will be required to exploit these technologies. This textbook will provide that background information."
      —Russell Jurenka, Department of Entomology, Iowa State University, Ames, in Florida Entomologist

      "I found the book Insect Physiology and Biochemistry, Second Edition by James L. Nation extremely useful…. The author has done an excellent job of covering all major topics from a physiological and biochemical point of view, seeking to incorporate the latest in the field of knowledge. In my opinion, the primary strength of the current edition is the comprehensive yet concise manner in which it has dealt with various topics in insect physiology with a biochemical and in some cases a molecular perspective."
      —Dr. N. Krishnan, Dept. of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University

  • Contents

    Chapter Preview
    Genetic Control of Embryogenesis
    Segmentation Genes
    Homeotic Genes
    Imaginal Discs
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Chapter Preview
    Relationships between Food Habits and Gut Structure and Function
    Major Structural Regions of the Gut
    Midgut Cell Types
    Microvilli or Brush Border of Midgut Cells
    Peritrophic Matrix
    Digestive Enzymes
    Hormonal Influence on Midgut
    Countercurrent Circulation of Midgut Contents and Absorption of Digested Products
    Transepithelial and Oxidation–Reduction Potential of the Gut
    Gut pH
    Hematophagy: Feeding on Vertebrate Blood
    Digestive System Morphology and Physiology in Major Insect Orders
    Insect Gut as a Potential Target for Population Management and Control of theSpread of Plant and Animal Disease Organisms
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Importance of Balance in Nutritional Components
    Ability of Insects to Self-Select Nutritional Components
    Requirements for Specific Nutrients
    Techniques and Dietary Terms Used in Insect Nutrition Studies
    Criteria for Evaluating Nutritional Quality of a Diet
    Measures of Food Intake and Utilization
    Feeding Deterrents
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Integument and Molting
    Structure of the Integument
    Molting and Formation of New Cuticle
    Chemical Composition of Cuticle
    Mineralization of Insect Cuticles
    Capture of Atmospheric Water on Cuticular Surfaces
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Hormones and Development
    Historical Beginnings for the Concept of Hormonal Control of Moltingand Metamorphosis
    Interplay of PTTH, Ecdysteroids, and Juvenile Hormone Control Development
    Brain Neurosecretory Cells and Prothoracicotropic Hormone
    Prothoracic Glands and Ecdysteroids
    Corpora Allata and Juvenile Hormones
    Mode of Action of Ecdysteroids at the Gene Level
    Possible Timer Gene in the Molting Process
    Ecdysone–Gene Interaction Ideas Stimulated Vertebrate Work
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    New! Biological Rhythms
    Characteristics of Circadian and Photoperiodic Rhythms
    Molecular Basis for the Circadian Clock
    Evidence for Clock Genes in Many Insects
    Examples of Circadian Functions in Insects
    Photoperiodic Response: One Clock, Two Clocks, or Multiple Clocks?
    Clock Models Based on Experimental Responses of Insects to VaryingLight/Dark Regimes
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Diapause: A Survival Strategy
    Phases of Diapause
    Hormonal Control of Diapause
    Role of Daily and Seasonal Biological Clocks in Diapause
    Diapause and Gene Expression
    Nutrient Accumulation for Diapause and the Storage and Conservation of Nutrientsduring Diapause
    Molecular Studies of Diapause
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Intermediary Metabolism
    Introduction: Nutrient Stores—The Fat Body
    Energy Demands for Insect Flight
    Metabolic Stores
    Hormones Controlling Carbohydrate Metabolism
    Pathways of Metabolism Supporting Intense Muscular Activity, Such as Flight
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Central Nervous System
    Ventral Ganglia
    Oxygen and Glucose Supply to the Brain and Ganglia
    Hemolymph–Brain (CNS) Barrier
    Neurons: Building Blocks of a Nervous System
    Giant Axons in the Insect Central Nervous System
    Nervous System Control of Behavior: Motor Programs
    Neurosecretory Cells (NSC) and Neurosecretion Products from the CNS
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Nerve Cell Responses to Stimuli
    Physiological Basis for Neuronal Responses to Stimuli
    Conduction of the Action Potential: Local Circuit Theory
    Physiology and Biochemistry at the Synapse: Excitatory and Inhibitory PostsynapticPotentials
    Acetylcholine-Mediated Synapses
    Electric Transmission across Synapses
    Neuromuscular Junctions
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Basic Muscle Structure and Function
    Synchronous and Asynchronous Muscles
    Muscle Proteins and Physiology of Contraction
    Muscles Involved in General Locomotion, Running, and Jumping
    Sound Production: Tymbal and Stridulatory Muscle
    Morphology and Physiology of Nonskeletal Muscle
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Insect Flight
    Thoracic Structure, Wing Hinges, and Muscle Groups Involved in Flight
    Wing Strokes
    Multiple Contractions from Each Volley of Nerve Impulses to Asynchronous Muscles
    Flight in Dragonflies and Damselflies
    Aerodynamics of Lift and Drag Forces Produced by Wings
    Hovering Flight
    Control of Pitch and Twisting of Wings
    Power Output of Flight Muscles
    Metabolic Activity of Wing Muscles
    Flight Behavior
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Sensory Systems
    External and Internal Receptors Monitoring the Environment
    General Functional Classification of Sensory Receptors
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Compound Eye Structure
    Dioptric Structures
    Corneal Layering
    Retinula Cells
    Electrical Activity of Retinula Cells
    Neural Connections in the Optic Lobe
    Larval Eyes: Stemmata
    Dermal Light Sense
    Chemistry of Insect Vision
    Visual Cascade
    Regulation of the Visual Cascade
    Color Vision
    Vision Is Important in Behavior
    Nutritional Need for Carotenoids in Insects
    Detection of Plane-Polarized Light
    Visual Acuity
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Circulatory System
    Introduction: Embryonic Development of the Circulatory System and Hemocytes
    Dorsal Vessel: Heart and Aorta
    Accessory Pulsatile Hearts
    Rate of Circulation
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Physical Barriers to Invasion
    Cellular Immune Reactions
    Recognition of Nonself
    Synthesis of Antifungal and Antibacterial Peptides
    Toll Pathway for Synthesis of Antimicrobial Peptides
    IMD Pathway for Synthesis of Antimicrobial Peptides
    C-Type Lectins
    Ecology, Behavior, and Immunity
    Cost of Defense
    Coevolutionary Race between Parasitoid Escape Mechanisms and Host DefenseMechanisms
    Autoimmune Consequences of Some Defense Reactions
    Gender Differences in Immune Responses
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Structure of the Tracheal System
    Tracheal Supply to Tissues and Organs
    Ventilation and Diffusion of Gases within the System
    Discontinuous Gas Exchange
    Water Balance during Flight
    Gas Exchange in Aquatic Insects
    Respiration in Endoparasitic Insects
    Respiratory Pigments
    Respiration in Eggs and Developing Embryos
    Nonrespiratory Functions of the Tracheal System
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Malpighian Tubules
    Malpighian Tubule Cells
    Formation of Primary Urine in Malpighian Tubules
    Proton Pump as a Driving Mechanism for Urine Formation and Homeostasis
    Selective Reabsorption in the Hindgut
    Role of the Excretory System in Maintaining Homeostasis
    Cryptonephridial Systems
    Self-Study and Review Questions
    Classes of Semiochemicals
    Importance of the Olfactory Sense in Insects
    Active Space Concept
    Pheromones Classified according to Behavior Elicited
    Pheromone Parsimony
    Chemical Characteristics of Semiochemicals
    Insect Receptors and the Detection Process
    Information Coding and Processing
    Hormonal Control of Pheromone Synthesis and Release
    Biosynthesis of Pheromones
    Geographical and Population Differences and Evolution of Pheromone Blends
    Practical Applications of Pheromones
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    Female Reproductive System
    Vitellogenins and Yolk Proteins
    Sequestering of Vitellogenins and Yolk Proteins by Oocytes
    Formation of the Vitelline Membrane
    Gas Exchange in Eggs
    Male Reproductive System
    Gender Determination
    Review and Self-Study Questions
    New! Insect Symbioses
    Symbioses among Leaf-Cutting Ants, Fungi, and Bacteria
    Biology of Termites
    Bark and Ambrosia Beetles and Their Symbionts
    Buchnera in Aphids
    Tsetse Fly Symbionts
    Review and Self-Study Questions