Introduction. Part I: Nine Periods Of Chromosome Research: 1795 to 2010.
First Period 1795-1850. The precursors: Better microscopes allowed reaching the cell level.
Second Period 1850-1900. The pioneers: The discovery of the chromosome was a by-product of microbiology.
Third Period 1900-1930. The era of abstract genetics: Order in embryonic development led to the finding of order in inheritance.
Fourth Period 1930-1950. The impact of physics and chemistry on genetics: World War II encouraged the development of microbial genetics.
Fifth Period 1950-1970. Radioisotopes and electron microscopy became a most fruitful combination: Molecular biology received its main impulse from disciplines outside genetics.
Sixth Period 1970-1980. The mechanisms of cancer and of development were sought at the DNA level: Biotechnology emerged as a new field as genetics created its own weapons.
Seventh Period 1980-1990. Neurobiology reached the molecular level: Artificial chromosomes and gene therapy became a reality.
Eighth Period 1990-2001. The genome of humans and of other organisms was sequenced: The age of multilaboratory collaboration was established.
Ninth Period 2001-2010. The post-genome era: The task that lies ahead.
Part II: The Technology that Allowed the Study of the Chromosome: 1900 to 2001. From staining methods to DNA sequencing.
Part III: In Search of the Eukaryotic Chromosome. Main stages in the discovery of the cell's structure and function. The nucleus versus the cytoplasm. Which was most important? The description of cell division: An impressive transformation was accompanied by directed cellular movements. Meiosis was another unexpected property: The cell could reduce its chromosome number. The maintenance of identity of the chromosome during interphase was accompanied by constancy and variability of pattern in different tissues.
Part IV: The Three Unique Regions of the Eukaryotic Chromosome. The centromere: A Pandora's box of unearthed properties. The telomere: Not just a terminus station. The nucleolus organizer: Nothing in the cell is comparable to it.
Part V: No Chromosome Can Function Outside A Cell. Cytoskeleton: A disgusting artifact became an important cell edifice. Nuclear envelope: The nucleus disclosed its outer structure. Centriole: An enigmatic cell invention. Endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus: The building of membranes permitted molecular reactions to occur in defined sequences. Cell membrane and cell wall: The cell became an individualized entity.
Part VI: Specific Types Of Chromosomes. Chromosomes of viruses: An early or a late form of chromosome? Chromosomes of bacteria: Nearly naked DNA could become independent. Chromosomes of mitochondria: Intruders invaded the cell. Chromosomes of chloroplasts: Additional genomes entered the cell.
Part VII: The Antithetical Properties Of The Chromosome. Physico-chemical processes are antithetical.
The Chromosome's Rigidity. Maintenance of organization: The protozoan versus the human chromosome. Maintenance of the chromosome phenotype. Maintenance of gene order. Maintenance of function. The periodicity of chromosome transformations.
The Chromosome's Plasticity. Structural change. Change of pattern. Change in size. Change in number. Change in function.
Part VIII: Chromosome Models And What They Do Not Tell Us. The models. What the models do not tell us.
Part IX: Epilogue. Where did the chromosome come from? Where is the chromosome going?
Bibliography: A list of selected books that have dealt with the chromosome during the period 1870-2001.
One Hundred Years of Chromosome Research: What Remains to be Learned, offers the reader a critical analysis of the observations and experiments that shaped the last 100 years of chromosome research, as well as the ideas which prevailed during this period.
Emphasis is placed on what remains to be learned, particularly in light of reality of the sequencing of DNA which leaves the previous era of chromosome research as a prehistoric event. It is at this turning point, that well formulated questions can be asked about many of the chromosome's properties, which remain to be unveiled.
The author, Lima-de-Faria is Professor Emeritus of Molecular Cytogenetics at Lund Unviersity, Sweden, previously Head of the Institute of Molecular Cytogenetics, Lund University.
Is a unique work, no other book has covered the 100 years of Chromosome Research