Replication of DNA is essential for the propagation of life. It is somewhat
surprising then that, despite the vital nature of this process, cellular organ-isms show a great deal of variety in the mechanisms that they employ to
ensure appropriate genome duplication. This diversity is manifested along
classical evolutionary lines, with distinct combinations of replicon architec-ture and replication proteins being found in the three domains of life: the
Bacteria, the Eukarya and the Archaea.
The International Biological Programme (IPB), a world-wide plan of coordinated
research on the biological basis of productivity and human welfare, covered terrestrial
and aquatic environments, and ran for almost a decade from 1964. Recognising
the need for guidance in methodology, the IBP arranged for the publication of a series
of handbooks on techniques with the aim of achieving comparability of results
all over theworld. One of these handbooks dealt with the study of marine benthos.