15+ Best Genetics Books To Read in [2022] [UPDATED]

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The world-famous Garden Pea experiment by Johann Gregor Mendel opened new doors for an emerging field of science called Genetics. In ordinary words, Genetics is the study of the fundamental reason for life on earth and its transmission from one life to another life form.

Genetics is an ancient and traditional science but an important one. It has led to new development in the interdisciplinary fields of science. It forms the backbone of other forms of biological sciences. DNA, which is thoroughly studied in the subject of genetics, is a fundamental molecule for every other scientific field.

The clear and concise knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of Genetics can be achieved by reading authentic sources for information. Geneticists and Molecular Biologists should read these 16 most recommended and best textbooks on Genetics for enhancing their knowledge and skills.


Best Genetics Books Every Geneticist & Biologist Should Read

Given below is a description of the 16 best textbooks to read for Genetics. It’s not feasible to buy and read each one of them. Therefore, here is a quick summary of the best books you can purchase and read.


1. Introduction to Genetic Analysis

Introduction to Genetic Analysis is authored by a group of four expert writers, Anthony Griffith, John Doebley, Catherine Peichel, and David Wassarman.

The book includes every important topic associated with genetics and analysis. The book is classified into 20 chapters and each chapter is dedicated to a specific theme concerning genetics.

The chapter at the beginning includes the revolutionary history of genetics in the field of Life science followed by single gene inheritance, the independent assortment of genes, mapping of eukaryotic chromosomes by recombination, gene interaction, the genetics of microorganisms like bacteria and viruses, and so on.

The middle section includes the molecular mechanism involved in genetics. The structure and the process of replication in DNA have been explained in chapter 7. The RNA transcription and processing are written in brief in chapter 8. The ultimate molecule protein and its synthesis is explained too.

The section after this includes the process of gene isolation and manipulation, regulation of gene expression in microorganisms, regulation of transcription in eukaryotes, the genetic control of development, detailed description of genomics, mutation, repair, and recombination phenomenon.

The concluding chapters include details on transposable elements, changes in chromosomes, population genetics, the inheritance of complex traits, and the evolution of genes species, and traits.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • The book is written in a comprehensive style with clear sections for easiness in reading
  • The book includes all the fundamental information on genetics at one place
  • The flow of the text is persuasive
  • High-resolution photographs and drawings for visualizing the concepts
  • Simple and nontechnical english words are used
  • Positively received by readers due to decent and straightforward format
  • Recommended to every geneticist and biologist looking for a basic book on genetics

Level (best suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate


2. The Gene: An Intimate History

The Gene: An Intimate History is written by Siddhartha Mukherjee, who has won several awards and prizes for this unique book.

The book is written in chronological order from the history of the gene and genetic research to the latest developments such as human genome mapping.

It includes the discoveries made by Aristotle to the discoveries made by James Watson and Crick.

It emphasizes the potential of genetics in ensuring the health and traits of human beings.

The personal experience of the genetic history of the author’s family, including mental illness, makes the book more interesting to read.

Mukherjee has focused on understanding the human heredity and the influence it brings in the lives, personalities, identities, and choices that people made.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • A precise, dramatic and thrilling account
  • Many critics across the world have positively reviewed the book
  • The author has expressed intellectual ideas on genetics through emotional touch to his composition.
  • Storytelling way to keep the readers engaged with the flow of the story
  • It is a different book since, includes more than scientific facts and theories
  • Recommend for readers looking forward to reading a science book based on genetics but along with narration

Level (best suitable for): Beginner


3. Genetics: A Conceptual Approach

Genetics: A Conceptual Approach is written by Benjamin Pierce, who is a renowned professor at Southwestern University, where he teaches genetics and evolution to his pupil.

The book is separated into 26 chapters. The initial chapters are the vital chapters that include an introduction to genetics, principles of heredity, chromosomes, sex determination, and sex characteristics, extensions, modifications of fundamental theories, Pedigree analysis, applications, genetic testing, linkage recombination, and eukaryotic gene mapping, etc.

The midsection of the book is about the macromolecular phenomenon that brings genetics into action.

The chemical nature of genes, chromosome structure, DNA replication, recombination, transcription, RNA molecules, processing of genetic code, translation, gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes have been included.

The concluding chapters include- molecular genetic analysis, biotechnology, genomics, proteomics, epigenetics, cancer genetics, quantitative genetics, population genetics, evolutionary genetics, developmental genetics, and Immunogenetics.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • The book is equipped with a reference guide to model genetic organisms
  • The different sections make the readers comfortable to navigate the book
  • Easy language and simple text for quick understanding
  • High-resolution images and relevant pictures
  • Suggested for undergraduate and postgraduate belonging to the field of biology, biotechnology, microbiology, and genetics.

Level (best suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate


4. Concepts of Genetics

Concepts of Genetics book are authored by William Klug, Michael Cummings, Charlotte Spencer, Michael Palladino, and Darrell Killian. This is a fundamental book that deals with the basic concepts and ideas of genetics along with exploration of advance and modern techniques and applications of genetic analysis.

The book is divided into five sections. The first section includes a basic introduction of genes, chromosomes, and heredity.

The second section talks about the structure and analysis of DNA. The mechanism of replication, recombination, and organization in chromosomes has been included too here.

Section 3 deals with an important aspect of genetics that is gene expression and its regulation. The important topics included are genetic code and transcription, translation of RNA into proteins, gene mutation, DNA repair, transposition, regulation of gene expression in bacteria and eukaryotes, genetic regulation, and post-transcriptional regulation in eukaryotes.

Section 4 includes details on genomics, recombinant DNA technology, analysis, and applications of genetic engineering.

Section 5 includes the Genetics of organisms and populations and important themes of Cancer, Genetics, population and evolutionary Genetics, developmental Genetics, Quantitative Genetics, and multifactorial traits.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • The best-selling textbook for Genetics due to understandable explanations for complex concepts
  • Analytical topics have been written with the utmost dedication
  • The simple language and up-to-date information
  • Comprehensive and promotes emerging topics such as CRISPR and posttranscriptional gene regulation in eukaryotes.
  • DNA forensics, gene therapy, neurogenetics, precision medicine, and genetically modified foods are included in a “special topic” section of the book
  • Authentic and trusted content with digital tools for students engagement
  • Interactive engaging and creative activities for students for active learning

Level (best suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate


5. Human Molecular Genetics

Human Molecular Genetics is written by Tom Strachan and Andrew Read. The book is a compilation of human Genetics, genomics, and molecular aspects of genetic diseases in humans.

The book has been broadly classified into five parts. The first part encloses the basics of DNA chromosomes, cells development and patterns of inheritance.

The second section focuses on understanding genomes, the technologies associated with DNA amplification, hybridization, and sequencing. The structure and expression of genomes and the principles of genetic manipulation in mammalian cells have been written in details. Gene regulation and epigenome are important topics of this section.

The third section is an overview of genetic variation in the human population. It includes human population Genetics, comparative genomics, and overall human evolution.

The most crucial sections are section 4 that includes the human genetic diseases, the chromosomal abnormality, molecular pathology mapping, and identifying genes, understanding the factors responsible for complex diseases and Cancer Genetics and genomics

The final part is about the application of human molecular Genetics like genetic testing in healthcare and law, model organisms and modeling diseases, and the latest genetic approaches for treating diseases.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Clear sections for easy navigation of the reader through the book
  • An integrated approach to the molecular basis of genetics, genomics, and cell biology
  • High-resolution pictures and artwork to highlight concepts and mechanism
  • Summary boxes at the end of every chapter for key points
  • Highly acclaimed book for evolution and anthropology

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate to Advance


6. Genetics: Analysis and Principles

Genetics: Analysis and principles written by Robert Brooker is an introductory textbook on Genetics that uses an experimental approach for understanding genetics.

The book is broadly classified into a total of 6 sections. The first part is an overview of genetics and includes an introduction. The second section includes important topics regarding patterns of inheritance, genetic linkage, transfer, and variation in chromosome structure and number.

The third section consists of elaborate information on the molecular structure of DNA, RNA, and its replication, chromosomes, and transposable elements.

Section 4 talks about the molecular properties of genes, translation of mRNA, gene regulation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, non-coding RNA viruses, and their Genetics, gene mutation, DNA repair, and recombination.

Section 5 deals with the applications of genetic technologies in the field of biotechnology, molecular technologies, functional genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics.

The last section is about the genetic analysis of individuals and populations and includes important themes of Medical Genetics, the basis of cancer, developmental, Genetics, Population Genetics, and quantitative traits, and evolutionary genetics.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Easy to understand and simple text for readers
  • Comprehensively divided sections for easy navigation throughout the book
  • Practical approach towards understanding the basic concept underlying genetics
  • Highly recommended for undergraduate and postgraduate students belonging to the field of bioinformatics, biotechnology, genetics, molecular biology, and more

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate to Advance


7. The Selfish Gene

The Selfish Gene authored by Richard Dawkins, a brilliant compilation of the fundamental theories like natural selection and other Genetics based principles. The author has knowledgeably represented his idea about the effectiveness of the gene as a unit of selection. The chapter includes the importance of genes in genetics rather than chromosomes, individuals, groups, or species.

The 3rd chapter of the book is the most interesting one since the author has laid importance on the excess DNA present in humans. It says about the usefulness of the surplus DNA. The author emphasizes the fact that how crucial is DNA for survival and the surplus DNA can be considered as a parasite.

The book includes the creative buildings on the insights made by evolutionary theorists William Hamilton, John Maynard Smith, George Williams, and Robert Trivers. However, the book explains more than what these scientists had discovered through the words of Dawkins.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • An interesting book due to the use of simple nontechnical words of English to represent mathematical concepts
  • Surprising and refreshing facts on genetics for young readers
  • A very engaging and comprehensive book to learn something different from contemporary information
  • Recommended for thinkers and curious students in the field of genetics and molecular biology

Level (best suitable for): Beginner


8. Human Genetics

Human Genetics authored by Ricki Lewis is a collection of the genetic behavior of humans, the variations, and the diseases caused by them.

The book has been divided into six broad sections. The first section is a brief introduction to the human genome cells and the process of meiosis development and aging.

The second section includes the process of transmission genetics. From chapter 4 to chapter 8, it is about single gene inheritance, Mendel’s law, multifactorial traits, and behavior in genetics.

The third section has details on DNA and chromosomes, it includes the structure description of DNA and the process of DNA replication. The central dogma that is from DNA to RNA and RNA to protein synthesis has been described in chapter 10. Important topics such as gene expression and epigenetics have been covered in chapter 11. Gene mutations and chromosomes are in the concluding chapters of this section.

Part 4 of the book includes population genetics, allele frequencies DNA forensic human ancestry, and evolution.

Section 5 is about cancer and the immunity of humans. Genetics of immunity, cancer Genetics and genomics have been covered in detail in chapters 17 and 18.

The final and last sections are about Genetics and technology. It mainly deals with the available DNA technologies testing and treatment, reproductive technologies and genomics.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • The book is solely written on human Genetics concepts and applications
  • Categorized into different sections
  • Simple and straightforward text
  • Easy to understand language with minimal use of complex words
  • Recommended for health care clinicians and genetics researches

Level (best suitable for): Advanced


9. Principles of Genetics

Principles of Genetics have been authored by Peter Snustad and Michael Simmons. An excellent compilation of the fundamentals and applications of genetics. The book is divided into clear-cut 20 chapters with 4 additional chapters available online.

The book begins with a brief history of genetics and DNA as genetic material, the levels of genetic analysis, and the applications of genetics for human welfare.

The second chapter talks about the cell division process of mitosis and meiosis along with the life cycles of some model organisms. The basic principles of inheritance have been included in chapter 3. Chapter 4 is an extension of Mendel’s principles and talks about allelic variation and gene function.

Chapter 5 is a brief on chromosomes, the theory of heredity, sex chromosomes, and dosage compensation of X-linked genes. The variation in chromosome number and structure linkage crossing over chromosome mapping recombination have been included in chapters 6 and 7.

The bacterial Genetics and the Genetics of viruses, mechanism of exchange in bacteria is written in chapter 8. DNA, molecular structures of chromosomes, special features of eukaryotic chromosomes’, replication of DNA and chromosomes transcription, RNA processing, translation, genetic code, mutation, DNA repair, recombination, techniques of molecular genetics, genomics are covered till chapter 15.

The final chapters include the applications of molecular genetics, regulation of gene expression both in eukaryotes, and prokaryotes inheritance of complex traits and population genetics marks the end of the book.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • 3 appendices are provided that include rules of probability, binomial probabilities, and evolutionary rates.
  • The book is a perfect balance between Genetics concepts and an experimental approach
  • High-resolution figures with the real micrograph and ideal illustration
  • Helps the reader to develop critical thinking skills

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate to Advance


10. Lewin’s GENES XII

Lewin’s GENES XII provides the most modern and transformative dynamic science.

The book provides the most recent and cutting-edge technologies. The important topics such as gene structure, chromosome organization, sequencing, and expression have been included in different sections.

The book is broadly classified into four sections. The first section is a detailed description of genes and chromosomes and includes topics like chromatin and chromosomes, interrupted genes, sequence evolution, clusters, repeats, methods in molecular biology, and genetic engineering, and many more.

The second section is about the genetic material, DNA replication, and recombination processes. Many interesting topics like extrachromosomal replicons, repair systems, transposable elements, and retroviruses have been included in the section.

Section 3 is about the prokaryotic and eukaryotic transcription process. It also includes the RNA splicing process, catalytic RNA, post-transcriptional mechanism translation, and genetic code.

The final section is about gene regulation. It includes details on operon, epigenetics, eukaryotic transcription, regulation, noncoding, and regulatory RNA.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Expanded information on epigenetics and advanced research study material
  • High-quality figures and illustrations to engage the readers and clear the concepts
  • A comprehensive text and simple language
  • Recommended for undergraduates and graduates belonging to the field of molecular genetics and molecular biology along with cellular biology and biochemistry.

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate to Advance


11. Genetics For Dummies

Genetics for Dummies is an ideal Genetics book that includes the latest genomic technologies testing and practical research approaches.

The book is divided into five separate and clear sections. It constitutes around 22 chapters. The book begins with an introduction section where the author has described the book and the organization of the book.

The first part includes the basics of genetics. It describes classical genetics, molecular genetics, population genetics, and quantitative genetics, descriptions on the Genetics lab, and the career opportunities in the field. The first part has a total of four chapters, and key topics such as cell biology, basic laws of inheritance, and complex traits have been discussed very briefly.

Section 2 deals with the genetic material that is DNA. It talks about the components of DNA including the nitrogenous bases, types of DNA, and the double helix model. DNA replication has been written in-depth. RNA replication, protein synthesis, genetic code, gene expression in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms are included here.

Section 3 is about the health implications of genes and genomes. It talks about the effect of change in DNA sequence chromosomal disorders, genetic cause of cancer malignancies, hereditary transfer of cancer, genetic counselling, genetic testing, assessment treating, genetic disorders, tailor treatments, etc. have been written down briefly.

The fourth section is about the tracing of human history and the future perspectives of genetics. It deals with interesting topics of solving the mysteries using DNA. Genetic engineering and ethical considerations of genetics are included.

The final section is about the 10 defining events that took place in Genetics from Darwin’s Origin of species until the human genome project. The concluding chapter includes the 10 hot topics in Genetics research

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Written in details and comprehensive style
  • Nicely divided sections for finding appropriate topics
  • It includes relevant images and pictures
  • A Glossary provided at the end along with an index
  • Recommended for advanced learners in the field of genetics and cellular biology

Level (best suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate


12. Genetics: From Genes to Genomes

Genetics: From Genes to Genomes is a brief overview of Genetics and the study of biological information possessed by it. The book is divided into 7 sections that include very relevant and reliable topics for understanding Genetics from the core till the top.

Section 1 includes the basic principles of how the traits are transmitted between species. Mendel’s principle of heredity and extensions of these laws are mentioned in this part. Linkage recombination and mapping of genes and chromosomes mark the end of this section.

Section 2 is a detailed description of the concept of genes and their functions. It includes DNA structure details, the process of replication and recombination, anatomy and function of gene mutation, gene expression, and so on.

The third section is interesting and it includes the process of analysis of genetic information. It emphasizes genome annotation, digital analysis of DNA, and genomic variation analysis.

The fourth section is about the transmission of genes. It includes details on eukaryotic and prokaryotic chromosome, rearrangement of chromosome, and changes in chromosome number.

The fifth section includes details on gene regulation in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Section six has the application of genetics in the field of cancer and the manipulation of eukaryotic genomes. The last section is about variation and selection in populations and details on complex traits.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Writing is based on Mendelian principles of genetics
  • A comprehensive style of writing with simple to understand language
  • Illustrative diagrams and pictures for readers
  • It includes the latest discoveries made in the part of genetics
  • Recommended for high-level graduates and researchers.

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate to Advance

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13. Introduction to Genomics

Introduction to genomics is an up to date and advance compilation for genomic students.

A total of 13 chapters complete the book. The first chapter is about a brief introduction to genetics. It includes the laws and heredity mechanism of genes and genomes.

The second chapter is about the Human Genome Project. The purpose, outcomes, and the future perspective of this project has been discussed in brief.

The third chapter is about gene mapping on chromosome, sequencing, and annotation and databases that store information. The evolution and genomic changes are included in chapter four.

The prokaryotic and eukaryotic genome along with the Genetics of viruses are constituted in chapters 5 and 6. Comparative genomics is an interesting topic that chapter 7 includes.

The human health and diseases that are caused due to changes in genetic makeup have been laid down beautifully in chapter 8. Chapter 9 is details on genomics and anthropology. Chapters 11 and 12 deal with proteomics and metabolomics.

The concluding chapter 13 is about systems biology. This is an emerging field with high potential in bioinformatics.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • The book has been reviewed very positively by the readers
  • The chapters are simple and very straight forward
  • The writing style is lucid that clear the concept and provide thinking skills to the readers
  • Many real-world examples in relevant chapters have been included
  • The problems, exercises, and Weblems along each chapter will help the student grasp the basics

Level (best suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate


14. Genome Science

Genome Science is a compilation of practical and conceptual approaches for molecular genetic analysis in eukaryotic organisms.

The text book is used as a laboratory manual. The book includes all the advanced and preliminary lab protocols for different types of analysis regarding genetics.

It mostly deals with the approaches for laboratory testing of the human genome, invertebrate’s genome, and plant genome.

A total of 18 laboratory events have been organized into four chapters. The laboratory experiments are divided into both the categories of wet lab and dry lab exercises. In vitro experiments and bioinformatics analysis are very engaging.

Each chapter has a brief introduction that explains the concept behind the framework of experiment and historical perspective. Specific instructions from the instructors, laboratory guidelines, step by step protocols, tips, and tricks for optimum results are also attached to the book.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • One of the finest books on hands-on manual experiment related to genetics
  • Comprehensively written with a brief introduction that clears the concepts
  • Thought-provoking exercises and questions for students
  • Simple language and step by step instructions make the guidelines easy to understand
  • Recommended for bioinformaticians and geneticist with an intermediate level of knowledge

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate


15. Genetics in Medicine

Genetics in Medicine by Thompson and Thompson is a brilliant compilation on human Genetics and mechanism of molecular genetics in details. The book reflects on the classical principles of human Genetics along with modern molecular genetics.

A total of 19 chapters are included in the book. Each chapter has a brief introduction and closing summary at the end.

The book begins with the basic introduction and introduction to the human genome. The gene structure and function of human genome is described in chapter 3. The genetic diversity, mutation, and polymorphism in human Genetics is described in chapter 4.

Chapter 5 includes the principles of clinical Cytogenetics and genomic analysis. The most important chapter is the chapter 6 that includes the chromosomal and genomic basis of diseases and the disorders caused by autosomes and sex chromosomes.

The mid-section of the book includes Patterns of single gene inheritance, complex inheritance of common multifactorial disorders, and genetic variation in populations, identifying the genetic basis, molecular basis, biochemical and cellular basis of genetic diseases.

The concluding chapters include details on the topics such as treatment of genetic diseases, developmental Genetics birth defects, cancer Genetics and genomics, risk assessment genetic counselling, prenatal diagnosis and screening, application of genomics to personalized health care, and lastly, ethical and social issues in Genetics and genomics.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • The book includes the latest advances in molecular diagnostics, pharmacogenetics, bioinformatics and human genome project
  • The book is clear cut and concise.
  • It includes an understanding between basic Genetics and clinical medicine with various case studies
  • High quality pictures and illustrations for visual guidance
  • A number of genetic disorders identified and descriptively written
  • Advanced book and recommended for medical clinicians, bioinformaticians, and molecular diagnostics experts.

Level (best suitable for): Advanced


16. Medical Genetics

Medical Genetics is an interesting and up-to-date book on clinical approaches and applications in healthcare. The book has been divided into a total of 15 chapters.

The initial chapters are about the background and history of genetics. Details on cell biology, the structure, and function of genes and chromosomes have been written down descriptively. Important topics like genetic variation, autosomal dominant, and recessive inheritance, sex-linked and non-traditional modes of inheritance are mentioned as separate chapters.

One of the important chapter is on Clinical Cytogenetics that describes the chromosomal basis of human diseases. The chapters from hereon are about genetic diseases, biochemical genetic disorders, Immunogenetics, cancer Genetics, multifactorial inheritance, common diseases, and so on.

Chapter 13 deals with genetic testing and treatment through gene therapy. The applications of precision medicine have become widespread and chapter 14 is dedicated to it. The last and final chapter is about clinical Genetics and genetic counselling.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • A summary of every chapter are provided at the end
  • A glossary supplement and suggested readings are provided for assistance
  • This includes interesting study questions
  • High-resolution photographs illustrations and tables for representing data in the best possible way
  • Practical emphasis on clinical applications of genetics

Level (best suitable for): Advanced

These are the best 16 Genetics books that every Geneticist and Biologist must-read. These are highly recommended books on genetics that can lead to the development of high order thinking skills in young minds. Researchers looking for a breakthrough discovery in the field of genetics can read some advanced books on the applications of genetics.

The best books to read have been mentioned at the beginning of this article. However, you can choose any one of the 16 books mentioned in the list.

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