The 10 Best Genetics Textbooks

video play icon 10 Best Genetics Textbooks

This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in February of 2019. Fascinating and complex, genetics is an ever-evolving science that requires considerable devotion. Whether you’re a student working toward a career in the field or an enthusiastic autodidact, one of these textbooks will give you a better grasp on this varied discipline. Our list features authoritative editions that cater to a host of specialties, as well as informative introductory volumes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Genetics: A Conceptual Approach

2. Biotechnology, 2nd Edition

3. The Biology of Cancer

Editor's Notes

August 24, 2020:

For our latest update, we ensured every text was in the most recent iteration, which meant bringing Genetics: A Conceptual Approach and Genetics: Analysis and Principles up to their seventh editions. We also begrudgingly said goodbye to The Gene: An Intimate History, which lacks the pedagogy of a proper textbook but is still a fascinating supplemental read for anyone interested in this field, and Conservation and the Genetics of Populations, which hasn't been updated in quite some time.

With the two vacancies, we decided to bring on Introduction to Genetic Analysis, as our list was missing something that helps teach the analytical side of the science, which can be very daunting for some. It focuses on genetic analysis, quantitative problem solving, and experimentation, using popular landmark experiments to show how to draw conclusions from data.

We added Concepts of Genetics, a volume that joins Genetics: A Conceptual Approach and Genetics: Analysis and Principles in being an extremely accessible work that conveys the fundamentals with clarity for new students. We also kept Introduction to Veterinary Genetics and Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding on board for those interested in animal science and botany textbooks.

March 07, 2019:

Genetics is a broad science that affects myriad industries, from the medical and veterinary fields to animal and habitat conservation and biology, so we arranged a varied list that catered to an array of students and enthusiasts. We ranked based on authority, comprehensiveness and pedagogy, and prioritized texts that were clearly and thoughtfully written. For those focusing on flora and fauna, we included Conservation and the Genetics of Populations, Introduction to Veterinary Genetics, and Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding. Added The Gene: An Intimate History and Human Genetics for those interested in hereditary traits. Genetics: A Conceptual Approach and Genetics: Analysis and Principles will provide information on big-picture concepts, while the definitive and well-composed The Biology of Cancer will benefit oncologists, among others.

Special Honors

Genetics Courses at is an educational platform that offers classes in a range of disciplines, culled from the likes of Harvard, Berkeley, and MIT. They provide free, self-paced online genetics courses to build your skills and advance your career, covering biology, statistical methods for gene mapping, animal breeding, and more.

Learn Genetics Learn Genetics is a website curated by the University of Utah that provides free educational materials for those interested in the subject. You can peruse articles packed with helpful illustrations, photos, and interactive media that touch on everything from the basics to ecology and neuroscience. They make it easy to cite its pages for research papers, and there is also a companion website for instructors.

4. Concepts of Genetics

5. Genetics: Analysis and Principles

6. Introduction to Genetic Analysis

7. Human Genetics

8. Principles of Plant Genetics and Breeding

9. Introduction to Veterinary Genetics

10. Genetics: Analysis of Genes and Genomes

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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