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Size Control in Biology: From Organelles to Organisms

Book Series:  A Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology Collection
Subject Area(s):  Developmental BiologyCell Biology

Edited by Rebecca Heald, University of California, Berkeley; Iswar K. Hariharan, University of California, Berkeley; David B. Wake, University of California, Berkeley

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© 2015 • 318 pages, illustrated (54 color, 4 B&W), index
Hardcover •
ISBN  978-1-621820-72-7

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Size is a primary feature of living things. From the egg to adult, the various organs, tissues, cells, and subcellular structures that make up an organism achieve appropriate sizes so that they effectively fit and function together. The misregulation of this growth can lead to diseases such as cancer.

Written and edited by experts in the field, this collection from Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology examines our current understanding of the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms that precisely regulate the sizes of biological structures so that they can function efficiently in their cellular, organismal, or ecological context. Contributors discuss the genetic, hormonal, and environmental inputs that trigger cells to grow, divide, or die, the various signaling pathways involved, and how these determine the final body size of an organism and the proportions of its component tissues and organs. Size-sensing mechanisms that enable cells to maintain their optimal sizes are reviewed, as are the scaling mechanisms that organelles use to adjust their sizes in response to changes in cell size. Examples from across the tree of life—from bacteria to humans—are provided.

The authors also describe the mysteries that still remain about cell size and its control, including the nature of the intriguing relationship between nuclear DNA content and cell size. This volume will therefore be fascinating reading for all cell, developmental, and evolutionary biologists.


Growing an Embryo from a Single Cell: A Hurdle in Animal Life
Patrick H. O’Farrell
The Systemic Control of Growth
Laura Boulan, Marco Milán, and Pierre Léopold
Indeterminate Growth: Could It Represent the Ancestral Condition?
Iswar K. Hariharan, David B. Wake, and Marvalee H. Wake
Biological Scaling Problems and Solutions in Amphibians
Daniel L. Levy and Rebecca Heald
Organ-Size Regulation in Mammals
Alfredo I. Penzo-Méndez and Ben Z. Stanger
Size Control in Plants—Lessons from Leaves and Flowers
Hjördis Czesnick and Michael Lenhard
Control of Organ Growth by Patterning and Hippo Signaling in Drosophila
Kenneth D. Irvine and Kieran F. Harvey
Mechanical Forces and Growth in Animal Tissues
Loïc LeGoff and Thomas Lecuit
The Influence of Genome and Cell Size on Brain Morphology in Amphibians
Gerhard Roth and Wolfgang Walkowiak
A Phyletic Perspective on Cell Growth
Karl J. Niklas
Genome Biology and the Evolution of Cell-Size Diversity
Rachel Lockridge Mueller
Cell-Size Control
Amanda A. Amodeo and Jan M. Skotheim
Small but Mighty: Cell Size and Bacteria
Petra Anne Levin and Esther R. Angert
The Opposing Actions of Target of Rapamycin and AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in Cell Growth Control
Sravanth K. Hindupur, Asier González, and Michael N. Hall
Nuclear DNA Content Varies with Cell Size across Human Cell Types
James F. Gillooly, Andrew Hein, and Rachel Damiani
Subcellular Size
Wallace F. Marshall
Intracellular Scaling Mechanisms
Simone Reber and Nathan W. Goehring
Size Scaling of Microtubule Assemblies in Early Xenopus Embryos
Timothy J. Mitchison, Keisuke Ishihara, Phuong Nguyen, and Martin Wühr