Yeast 15, 81 (1999) Book Review Operating Instructions for the Yeast Machine HOWARD BUSSEY Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Dr Penfield Ave., Montreal, PQ H3A 1B1, Canada A review of Yeast Gene Analysis (Methods in Microbiology, Vol. 26, edited by Alistair J. P. Brown and Mick F. Tuite. Published by Academic Press, P.B. $59.95; H.C. $99.95. This volume of Methods in Microbiology aims to be a primer to guide analysis of yeast into the postgenomic era. The origins of the book are firmly centred in the European Commission-supported yeast functional analysis network, EUROFAN. The editors, Al Brown and Mick Tuite, are both members of this consortium as are the authors of most of the 24 chapters. The book seeks to extend, but not repeat, basic core information available in earlier ‘Methods’ volumes, such as the Guthrie and Fink ‘bible’, Methods in Enzymology (1991) and subsequent works, such as the Johnny Johnston book, Molecular Genetics of Yeast—A Practical Approach (1994), or the most recent Cold Spring Harbor Yeast Course Manual. Designed as it is to help yeast and non-yeast researchers navigate the fast-moving experimental waters of yeast biology, the coverage is broad; spanning the many applications of genomics, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and cell biology and their attendant technologies to Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The chapters have a straightforward and usable layout, enhanced by a page-flicker bookmark feature. Each begins with a contents outline, and relevant abbreviations follow in bold. The text headings for the written sections are large and easy to find, and specific protocols are inserted into the text as boxed elements containing clear sets of instructions in a numbered point format. The book is informatively illustrated with a wealth of helpful diagrams, photographs and tables, the chapters are cross-referenced and well referenced, and there is a global, terminal index to text, illustrations and tables. The book is far more than a cookbook; it seeks to place techniques and experimental strategies in some critical perspective, and expert investigators provide an overview of the state of the art in many areas. As to contents, it begins with chapters on functional genomics (S. Oliver) and bioinformatics (W. Mewes Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. et al.), and chromosomal manipulations (E. Louis), moves to transformation methodology (R. Gietz et al.) and PCR-based gene disruption (A. Wach et al.), to a fine contribution on use of conditional alleles for working with essential genes (M. Stark). Chapters on transcriptional analysis (A. Brown et al.) and reporter genes (J. McCarthy group) follow and issues of transposon mutagenesis and tagging occupy a further three chapters (D. Garfinkel et al., P. Ross-Macdonald et al., M. Bolotin-Fukuhara). Switching to protein studies, there are chapters on protein localization (I. Hagan and C. Stirling), post-translational modification of both secretory and intracellular proteins (F. Klis et al., M. Stark, respectively) and on two-hybrid analysis (J. Rosamond). An insightful essay on genetic screens (P. Linder group) leads to some more specialized chapters on metabolic control analysis (B. Teusink et al.), stress and MAPkinase related signal transduction (W. Mager et al. and the Nombela group, respectively) and protein synthesis (M. Tuite et al.). Some important applications of yeast studies are also succinctly covered, namely the discovery of human gene function (P. Moore), and an authoritative article on genomic studies on the pathogenic yeast, Candida albicans (P. Magee). A yeast mutant collections section (K. Entian and P. Kotter) and a discussion on future prospects for yeast gene analysis (A. Brown and M. Tuite) round out the volume. There are also helpful appendices dealing with gene and protein nomenclature, yeast growth and storage, a list of web sites and a ribosome inventory. Does it work? Given that probably only a reviewer will attempt to read all of a reference work, I put the book in my laboratory for a couple of weeks where it was well received by graduate and postdoctoral students after much critical thumbing and detailed checking. The consensus was that the material was up-to-date (finished in August 1997) and informative, and that the protocols were detailed and useful. Thus, we think the volume will be a valuable addition to our laboratory bookshelf, both as a reference work and as a starting point for new analysis. Certainly, it is a compendium packed with information, insights and discussions of potential pitfalls and limitations, all provided by experienced practitioners. The book successfully brings together a diffuse literature on sets of tools, technologies and know-how in an accessible format, and represents a sound investment for anyone interested in gene analysis.