PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
5 DECEMBER, 1959 NUMBER 5
and Control of Plant Growth and Disease'
Crops Research Division
Agricultural Research Service
U. S. Department of Agriculture
progress is among the most important factors in providing this Nation with
abundant food, feed and fiber. Although the United States farm population
declined from 16.6% of the total in 1950 to 12% in 1957, technological
advances made it possible for one farmer to grow food for himself and 23 non-farmers.
closely associated with agriculture see research translated into practice
at an ever-increasing rate. Research made our agriculture modern and intensified
research must insure continued progress. Knowledge must advance if prosperity
is to continue. We must understand and control plant development. Much of
such progress has been empirical, and many striking advances were prehistoric.
There-fore we must break out in new directions and effect new controls partly
by increasing understanding of plant development by further empirical successful
control. Our limitations in knowledge are challenges, not causes for despair.
I shall bring to your attention a few of the problems, whose solutions will
lead to better understanding of plant growth and development.
We Improve Our Methods of Biological Control of Soil-Borne Pathogens?
many years crop rotations and soil amendments have controlled plant diseases
caused by soil-borne pathogens, sometimes spectacularly. The methods, however,
are based largely on empirical trials. Frequently the specific microbial antagonisms
responsible for successful control are unknown. Microecological studies should
help disclose what soil conditions promote build-up or suppression of specific
plant pathogens or antagonistic organisms. Many pathogens persist in the soil
as spores or scierotia. We must learn how to induce germination in absence
of hosts and thus greatly reduce inoculum potentials. Indeed, pathogens might
be most vulnerable when their hosts are absent. When the latter are growing
in the field, the effect of soil conditions
version of a talk given at the AAAS Meetings, Washington, D. C., December
30, 1958, as part of a symposium "Some Unsolved Problems in Biology, 1958."
on the microbial population of the host rhizosphere greatly influences the
destructiveness of soil-borne pathogens. So we particularly need better understanding
of the effects of specific soil amendments and physico-chemical conditions.
are the Requirements for Obligate Parasitism?
are the best known examples of obligate fungus parasites. They are so finicky
in growth requirements that a single species may comprise hundreds of specialized
races, each parasitizing a different set of hosts. Thus, we are con-fronted
with determining not only the chemical bases for a few host-pathogen interactions
but also the nature of series of such interactions. For example, stem rust
of wheat comprises more than 200 races. The large numbers of specific host-pathogen
interactions suggest protein specificities, but after half a century of speculation
and experimentations we must still meet the challenge of the chemical nature
of the delicate biological balance called obligate parasitism.
are beginning to understand how this delicate balance between host and pathogen
is inherited but, as often hap-pens, the knowledge is of value principally
in suggesting methods of dealing with other problems. Complications arise
because we cannot study hosts and pathogens separately. Studies of flax rust
first made this clearly evident. A single complimentary relationship between
genes was found for virulence or avirulence in the pathogen and for resistance
or susceptibility in the host. This concept gave a new tool to help answer
many questions posed by the origin, nature, and "shiftiness" of rust races.
It also led to speculation whether a similar gene-for-gene relationship controls
inter-actions of various other pathogens and hosts, possibly even those causing
diseases of man and animals.
a Better Understanding of Other Problems Help Solve Why Micro-organisms Are
frequently broad spectrum of pathogenicity of obligate parasites implies that
fungi change constantly. In seeking the reasons, we uncovered new problems.
We learned that certain fungi are excellent for studying gene mutations. Haploid
homonucleate isolates were induced to mutate by methods known for higher plants.
Such investigations are
on page a)
S. GREENFIELD, Editor
Rector Street, Newark 2, New Jersey
S. AVERY, JR Brooklyn Botanic Garden
P. BANKS Cornell University
B. CREIGHTON Wellesley College
S. GREENFIELD Rutgers—The State University
B. SEARS Yale University
1959 e VOLUME 5, NO. 5
OP ADDRESS: Notify the Treasurer of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.,
Dr. A. J. Sharp, Department of Botany, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
for Libraries and persons not members of the Botanical Society are obtainable
at the rate of $2.0o a year. Send orders with checks payable to "Botanical
Society of America, Inc." to the Editor.
submitted for publication should be typewritten, double-spaced, and sent in
duplicate to the Editor.
have received a number of suggestions that Plant Science Bulletin ought to
contain a greater amount of news and notes on the professional activities
of its readers. Botanists are interested in knowing what their colleagues
in other institutions are doing, but not enough news items are submitted to
keep them well informed. Some have suggested that the system of regional correspondents
that we have been using tends to discourage rather than encourage the reporting
of local news.
has been suggested that one member of each department might act as news correspondent
for that department, and in cases where there is only one botanist, that he
send in news directly. We are considering abandoning our system of regional
correspondents in favor of institutional re-porters and welcome your comments
on this matter.
the meanwhile, there is no reason why we should not receive news and notes
from individual members or institutions. On the contrary, we solicit such
items from our members in the United States and other countries. Please send
us news about books that you are publishing, awards, grants received, honors,
special assignments, expeditions, etc., for publication in Plant Science Bulletin.
and Control of Plant Growth and Disease
from page I)
pursued to answer questions about the rate and nature of mutation under experimental
conditions. In other instances mutations causing gain or loss of single enzymes
were traced to changes in single genes, and the one-gene, one-enzyme hypothesis
was proposed. The goals suggested are still being actively pursued. For example,
fungus mutants deficient in certain enzymes or vitamins are useful analytical
tools, and additional ones are constantly sought.
changes not explainable by mutations or segregation during meiosis also crop
up. These changes are being studied by mycologists, plant pathologists, and
biochemists. They have learned that multinucleate cells of certain fungi contain
nuclei of several different genotypes. These cells seem to induce a higher
rate of increase in nuclei of one genotype than of another. In effect, the
fungus produces more nuclei that contain genes best adapted for new environments.
This concept of a flexible genetic system unique in heterocaryotic fungi was
not widely recognized until the last decade. It opened up many corollary problems
such as how to validate the details of this genetic system; how to use our
growing knowledge to develop new strains of useful micro-organisms; and how
to use new concepts to help understand the constant shifting races of plant
viruses are more widespread in plants and animals and limit efficient production
more than generally recognized. For example, the cause of progressive decline
in grape production in eastern United States was not apparent until recent
discovery there of the virus causing Pierce's disease. Recent citrus-rootstock
studies revealed that many apparently healthy grapefruit and orange trees
harbor several viruses that cause serious diseases on certain scion-rootstock
combinations. Unwitting distribution of these viruses in propagating stocks
resulted in much infection in orchard trees of horticultural varieties in
some areas. Barley false stripe, long considered a "physiological disorder,"
is now known to be caused by barley stripe mosaic virus, to be seed-transmitted,
and to be widespread on many species in this country. A disorder in sugar
beets in California, formerly known as Salinas yellows, is identified as virus
yellows, a disease serious in Europe for many years. Records indicate that
the yellows virus caused decline of sugar beets in Colorado as early as I940.
others, we desire to understand the nature of viruses and their manner of
infection, multiplication, and traversing plants. Others might be thus stirred
to understand virus multiplication as a life phenomenon. Any small increase
in knowledge takes us one step nearer an understanding of the nature of viruses;
within the year we learned that some viruses pass through living membranes
and use tracheary water streams as pathways within plants.
of Plant Growth
know that hormones within plants control growth and have synthesized several
hundred compounds that control growth when fed into leaves, stems or roots;
but we do not have the faintest understanding as to how these act. One might
say that we stumbled on information that causes us to wonder what we might
find by looking further.
have made long strides toward chemical control of most plant behaviors and
can chemically regulate plant growth in many ways of practical value, but
we have little understanding of mechanisms involved. The challenges in-crease
as new regulators and new ways of controlling plant behavior are discovered.
One challenge is how gibberellic
accelerates elongation of plants and in some instances eventually increases
the solid matter or how a quaternary ammonium compound induces plants to remain
short. A greater challenge is the nature of the primary plant reactions to
these remarkable stimulants. Actions of the regulators perhaps parallel chemical
regulations involved in the expression of hereditary characteristics, which,
in the broad sense, represents chemical control by genes.
plants are the only chemically productive organism in the earth's population;
they are self-supporting, or autotrophic; they alone enable animals and hetrotrophic
plants, fungi, and most bacteria to subsist. Green plants accumulate chemical
energy, while other organisms dissipate energy. Photosynthesis, by which plants
accumulate energy, has received much recent attention. Significant advances
in understanding have opened new avenues for inquiry, but the elemental problem
of energy transfer from radiation to chemical synthesis by all chlorophyll-bearing
plants remains a major unsolved problem. Although research on photo-synthesis
has not been well supported, because no immediate crop-improvement benefits
were envisioned, everyone knows that a complete understanding of the process
would benefit all science.
light response of plants, photoperiodism, has received much attention by agricultural
scientists. We know many important facts about the photoperiodic reaction
con-trolling flowering, the action spectra for long- and short-day plants,
the responsible wave lengths of light, and the stimulus to flower perceived
by the leaf and transmitted to the meristem; but we do not understand the
basic differences between classes of plants. We know that a continuous dark
period of determinate length is necessary for modification of the meristem
of a short-day plant from a vegetative to a flowering structure; yet a long-day
plant blooms under continuous light and a day-neutral plant under light of
any duration. We know little about the mechanism of a plant's capacity to
measure the passage of time: the red, far-red photoreversible reaction that
controls flowering in long- and short-day plants does not regulate flowering
of the day-neutral tomato, but it controls its other responses such as seed
germination, stem elongation, and fruit coloration. Our present knowledge
of the photoperiodic reaction is useful in the commercial production of flowers
and fruits and in breeding plants such as soybeans for specific regions, but
complete understanding of flowering would greatly simplify the practices.
importance of dormancy in the life cycle of a plant cannot be over-emphasized.
It may last only a few days or too years or more in some seeds. If we could
hold all our fruit and nut trees dormant until all danger of cold damage had
passed, we could prevent the large crop failures that periodically occur,
and if we could induce dormancy in short-lived seeds of some vegetable, ornamental,
and other crop plants, we could maintain adequate viable seeds more cheaply.
is widespread in weed seeds and in many species is broken only by light. This
partly explains the successful use of pre-emergence herbicides and the reappearance
of weed seedlings after every cultivation. Dormancy of some seeds, such as
lettuce, is induced by unfavorable temperatures, and the seeds in soil and
thus in the dark remain dormant after temperature becomes favorable. Given
light, however, seeds germinate immediately. 'We have some insight into the
way light operates to produce or eliminate dormancy in seeds, but we lack
knowledge of the reactions leading to light-induced germination.
in most woody plants can be induced by short photoperiods even at temperatures
of 70° to 200 °F. Japanese larch, yellow poplar, and others become
dormant after about 15 short days, and many species cease growth after about
30; but plants like Monterey pine require several months of short photoperiods.
Depth of dormancy is greater in some species, such as catalpa, than in others.
Catalpa requires a cold period to break dormancy, but even after a full year
dormancy in birch can be broken by long days alone.
this range of material and knowledge of how to manipulate dormancy we should
be able to learn more about the biochemistry of processes leading to dormancy
and its decline. Further study of the biochemical processes involved in juvenility
of crop trees is also important.
inheritance has long served plant breeding, its nature is still unknown. Examination
of this subject still shows only much successful empiricism. In a given situation
we rely heavily upon selection, when we need promptly to introduce disease
resistance into species or genera with-out it.
genetics has dealt primarily with genes producing characteristic phenotypic
effects qualitatively classifiable into discrete classes. The effects of such
genes have been of great value in development of genetic theory. How-ever,
most genes do not produce discrete distributions. Many economically important
traits segregate and produce a continuous distribution. Then many loci are
seemingly involved, the effects of the individual loci are small, environmental
effects are relatively large, and most procedures appropriate for classical
genetic analysis are of limited value. The alternative approach is statistical
through use of means, variances, and covariances. Competence in this field
requires training in statistics and genetics. Because this combination of
skills is not common, study of quantitative and population genetics has not
breeding is merely the application of classical and population genetics. Since
population genetic theory is in-adequate, breeding procedures are largely
empirical. This empiricism has been largely successful, but the progress does
not necessarily indicate the efficiency of the methods. The achievements may
be only results of great efforts.
we can expect major improvements in plant-breeding technics, we must have
a clearer concept of gene be-
and relative importance of type of gene action, nature and cause of mutations,
genetic structure of populations, magnitude of interaction effects, and relative
magnitude of genetic and environmental effects. Such information is basic
to the development of efficient breeding systems. Systems of maximum efficiency
may well differ for (I) self-pollinating species, in which the end product
is an inbred line (small grains, soybeans, etc.); (2) cross-pollinating species,
in which the end product is a first-generation hybrid (corn, onions, etc.);
and (3) a vegetatively propagated species like potato. Because of past differences
in evolutionary pattern and selection history, each of these types might have
a somewhat different genetic structure. The problem is further complicated
by the fact that degrees of importance of genetic interactions depend upon
the stage or level of improvement. If this situation is general, different
breeding procedures may be required at different levels of improvement. In
conclusion, I have cited a few of the unsolved problems confronting plant
scientists. Major progress in any of these areas has great effects, not only
on basic knowledge but also on agriculture. Further study of these and similar
concrete problems will lead to a gradual elucidation of broader and intangible
Who will identify the plants?
his interesting and clever article entitled "Botanical Research—The
Next 50 Years", in the April, 1959, Plant Science Bulletin, Dr. Thimann remarks
on the "unexpected and rather mysterious sight" of a taxonomist transplanting
seedlings, and points out that taxonomy, morphology, ecology, and other descriptive
sciences have developed experimental aspects. He welcomes these developments,
as we all do, since they increase our knowledge and understanding. But then
he goes on, hopefully, to ask "what is the betting that in another generation
or less these will be the only kind of Taxonomy, Morphology, Ecology, etc.,
extant, and the old descriptive kind will be largely obsolete?"
could scarcely ask for a better example of the narrowness and smugness that
seems widely characteristic of mod-ern experimental biology. It might be asked,
after ecology has moved into the phytotron and observational ecology has become
obsolete, what then would be the meaning of ecology? Presumably, textbooks
would be written and courses offered on the ecology of plants in phytotrons.
Common people who happen to have a curiosity about how plants behave in the
outdoors would, presumably, have to observe them and figure it out for themselves.
the Montreal Congress Wm. T. Stearn made the estimate that there may be 250,000
species of vascular plants. E. B. Babcock, one of the best of the experimental
taxonomists, working under the best of conditions, with excellent international
cooperation, and with the aid of a first class younger taxonomist, since turned
experimental, spent 30 years producing a monograph of Crepis, a genus of about
13o species of short-lived plants. I-Ie admitted that the mono- graph, although
as far as possible experimental, was still largely a herbarium study, since
he had been able to get only 90 species in culture. At the rate of 130 species
per taxonomist per 30 years we would need at least 1923 taxonomists with assistants,
working both experimentally and in the classical manner to monograph all the
plants in a generation, even if all plants were short-lived herbs, which most
of them are not; the bill for the facilities needed for this experimental
work would be rather large-sized; and, while this vast program is going on
we wonder who will make all of the identifications of plants needed by the
public, the foresters, the gardeners, and others interested in plants, including
even occasional physiologists. Perhaps we will have electronic brains to do
this. Certainly the experimental taxonomists will be too busy and the rest
of us will be obsolete.
R. FOSBERG Falls Church, Va.
I said that taxonomy, morphology and ecology might become wholly experimental
in the next two generations, I was making a guess at the general trend, not
presenting my own feelings. So if there is "narrowness and smugness" this
is a property of a rather large group of botanists. The answer to Dr. Fosberg's
question is, of course, that plants will be identified by those who have the
best knowledge of the group or genus, and if it seems that experiments are
needed to gain this, the experiments will be done. Of course botany will not
go into suspension in the meantime.
National Science Foundation will award grants to defray partial travel expenses
for a limited number of U. S. scientists who wish to participate in the Second
International Congress of Bioclimatology and Biometerology. This Congress
is scheduled to meet in London, England, September 5-10, 1960. Application
blanks may be obtained from the National Science Foundation, Washington 25,
D. C. Completed application forms must be submitted by March 1, 1960.
John Franks, Manchester Museum, The University, Manchester 13, England, is
interested in the exchange of herbarium sheets. He has a large number of duplicates
made by well known European collectors of the 1800's from localities no longer
available. He is interested in receiving North or South American collections
of recent vintage that are accompanied by adequate data. His material covers
all plant groups.
new publication series entitled "Occasional Papers of the C. C. Adams Center
for Ecological Studies" has been founded. The first number will appear in
late 1959 or early 1960. Persons or organizations interested in being placed
on the Center's mailing list should contact the Director, C. C. Adams Center
for Ecological Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
reply to the statement by Trilochan S. Bakshi in your Bulletin, Vol. 5, No.
1, March 1959 that "it would have made a world of difference for all scientists
the world over" if I —Laessle (1958) had used "Pinus palustris/Quercus
cerris" in place of the common names "Longleaf pine/Turkey oak," I should
like to state that indeed it would have made a "world" of difference. Whether
Dr. Bakshi was being facetious in citing Willis (1951) to convert turkey oak
to Q. cerris, a species native to S. E. Europe I do not know, but it is certain
that if I had used Pinus palustris/Quercus cerris for the name of my association
I should have fallen into a double error for P. palustris (Small, 1933) is
slash-pine, a tree confined to swamps and wet areas. The common name of longleaf
pine is not, and has not been, applied to any other species, but the scientific
name has long been con-fused. Pinus australis, as used by Fernald (1950) is
more recent than the (1949) authority cited by Bakshi and is much more generally
seriously, I do approve of Dr. Bakshi's thesis, and I would gladly have used
scientific names for the associations if there had been any complete and modern
source for them. Work is in progress but it may be at least ten more years
before Small's manual (1933) can be brought up to date. A knowledge of Latin
and Greek derivations may be misleading, for example, P. palustris for longleaf
pine, a tree which never grows in swamps. Dr. Bakshi did not mention the necessity
of citing the authority for scientific names as P. australis Michx. f., unless
it is stated that a certain manual is followed.
to Fernald (1950) the only common name of Q. laevis Walt. is turkey oak which
has also been called Q. catesbae Michx. It is true that Small (1933) applied
the name "turkey oak" to Q. cinerea Michx., as well as to Q. laevis. It is
not until one reads the last sentence of Dr. Bakshi's paper that the crux
of the matter is mentioned, "The Botanical Society of America should set up
a commit-tee to find ways and means of encouraging the wider use of scientific
names, and to prepare a standard dictionary to fill the gap between the literature
published so far and the scientist." (italics mine)
M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany (8th Edition) pp. 1632.
A. M. The origin and successful relationship of sandhill vegetation
and sand-pine scrub. Ecol. Monog., 28: 361-387.
1933—Small, J. K. Manual of the southeastern flora. Pub. by author, N.
Y., PP. 1545.
Trees. The yearbook of agriculture. Government Printing Office, Wash., D.
C., pp. 944.
J. C. A dictionary of flowering plants and ferns. The University Press, Cambridge,
England, pp. 752.
Dr. Bakshi, in his "A plea for a wider usage of scientific plant names (Plant
Science Bulletin, March, 1959), has overlooked some of the reasons why common
name usage persists. Let me, right off, declare my support of the usage of
Latin binomials in scientific communication. As an associate editor of the
Journal of Forestry (not primarily a scientific journal), I make it a policy
to leave no common name untranslated in the manuscripts I review.
I advance some views concerning "scientific names" as an aspect of language?
The Latin binomial or trinomial is a group of words we expect to do two things.
First, we expect it to designate a species or subspecies, so that we can talk
or write about this entity. Secondly, some of us expect this group of words
to show the relationship of this entity to other entities. These are reasonable
expectations, but are they entirely compatible?
is often advanced as one of the virtues of "scientific names." To be sure,
stability in the meaning of symbols enhances their usefulness as units in
communication. But do we really want stability in our Latin binomials in their
role of indicating relationships? Stability here would mean suspending research,
both in library and field. Users of plant names may be annoyed at frequent
and often cyclical changes in epithets, but we grudgingly recognize that these
signal advances in knowledge and understanding. Foresters, whom Dr. Bakshi
singles out for honorable mention, are often struck by the irony of a single
tree's outliving a long line (or large circle) of "scientific names." They
sometimes solve this difficulty, not with complete success, by the use of
precision of "scientific names" is often illusory. It is limited by ambiguity
(does Corydalis refer to a plant or an insect?), instability, or just plain
ignorance concerning the plants designated (unrecognized hybrid swarms, for
example). Moreover, as commonly used, without author citations, Latin binomials
are not quite as unambiguous as they appear. As things stand at present, "northern
red oak" is no less precise than the currently fashionable Quercus epithet
(some hold that rubra L. is proper), and is, at least, almost a necessary
accessory to the "scientific name."
lack of precision of the usual Latin binomials has been explicitly recognized
in the rules for the nomenclature of cultivated plants, which prohibit the
use of Latin names to designate cultivars.
may be permitted some mental reservations about stability as applied to living
things. Language, too, is a living thing. It has a way of resisting codification.
Lexicographers recognize this by their practice of recording usage rather
than prescribing what is "correct." The stable languages are no longer spoken
or written, and few can read them.
has uses other than in communication. Scientists, as scientists, properly
shun these. Nevertheless, scientists have been known to doff not only their
white coats, but their attitudes toward language; they can enjoy the color
common names, not only in Shakespeare, but in current speech.
of us who think of ourselves as scientists may not wish to draw the sharp
line between scientist and "common man" implicit in Dr. Bakshi's suggestions.
If, as he implies, North Americans are the worst offenders in their neglect
of scientific names, I like to think that this is partly because we are not
particularly class-conscious. Some of us so convinced of the value of a scientific
approach to all human problems that we would not wish to mark off any territory
as off limits to the "common man." Admittedly, this thought has been expressed
more gracefully in Latin: "Nihil humani a me alienum puto."
us, by all means, use Latin binomials consistently and fully in scientific
communication. We have much improvement to make in this respect, as Dr. Bakshi
points out. I hope, nevertheless, we can avoid propagating a scientific "elite"
talking to itself in a private language.
Forestry Association Nisqually, Washington.
the past two years Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, has added
to or expanded its collections of outstanding ornamental plants of the world
for public display. Among these plant groups now on display for the benefit
of public enjoyment and education are:
ornamentals, particularly from the Asiatic,
and African tropics;
and succulents from southwestern United States, the Mediterranean area,
South Africa and South America;
plants of the tropics and sub-tropics, particularly those items of ornamental
and curiosity value;
particularly hardy types from northern Japan;
water-lilies, including the outstanding species and hybrids as well as
other ecologically associated aquatics;
ever increasing number of the finest tropical flowering trees, now under
experimental test and evaluation, which we hope to have available for
disdisplay in the conservatories through the coming years.
new conservatories have been added to the public display
facilities as well as a series of thirteen tropical waterlily
pools supplied with heated water.
new experimental greenhouse section consists of ample work area, four 25 x
6o feet greenhouses, one of which will be completely air-conditioned, and
laboratory facilities which will serve as a center of experimental research
and new plant testing for the purpose of improving Longwood's horticultural
J. SEIBERT, Director
Gardens NEWS AND NOTES
R. Fosberg of the Pacific Vegetation Project, National Re-search Council attended
the annual meeting of the Unesco Advisory Committee on Scientific Research
in the Humid Tropics held at Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Africa, Oct. 16-19, 1959.
The meeting was held at the Institut d'enseignment et de recherches tropicales.
The meeting was followed be a symposium on "Vegetation in relation to the
soil in the plains and lower mountain regions of the equatorial and sub-equatorial
zones, and in the adjoining tropical areas", organized jointly by Unesco and
the Commission for Technical Cooperation in Africa South of the Sahara.
W. Burns, Professor of Botany, has been appointed Vice President and Dean
at Ohio Wesleyan University. Dr. Burns was Acting President of the University
last year. During the past summer he spent two months as botanist attached
to the American Geographical Society's studies of glaciers in Alaska.
at Ohio Wesleyan University, M. Joseph Klingensmith has been appointed Visiting
Assistant Professor of Botany and Bacteriology during the absence of Elwood
B. Shining. Dr. Shining is spending the year at the University of Wisconsin
pursuing his research on lysogeny of Streptornyces. Dr. Robert W. Long is
now Acting Chairman of the Department. Grants totaling approximately $40,000.00
have been received from the National Science Foundation for microbiological,
ecological, and genetic research in the Department.
S. Greenfield represented the Botanical Society at meetings of the National
Commission on Accrediting, and the Council on Cooperation in Teacher Education
held in Washington, D. C., October 22-25, 1959. He is also the author of the
chapter on "Biology" in the new book, "The Case for Basic Education", a program
of aims for public schools, edited by J. D. Koerner, Council for Basic Education.
The book has been published by Atlantic—Little Brown and Company.
colleges, West Virginia Institute of Technology, West Virginia State College,
and Morris Harvey College sponsor a regional science fair for junior and senior
high schools. Two finalists are selected each spring and are sent to the National
Science Fair, where last spring, May 1959, they won second place. Prizes are
given at the regional fair for achievements in chemistry, biology, physics,
and mathematics in both junior and senior high school groups. Last spring
at Morris Harvey College there were 700 entries. The spring 196o fair will
be held at West Virginia Institute of Technology.
Maurice Myers, Professor and Head of the Department of Biological Sciences
at Western Illinois University, will be Tour Director for a Field Tour around
the world, sponsored by the University and the National Education Association.
The fifty-day tour will include Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong,
Singapore, India, Thailand, Egypt, Greece, Italy, France and Great Britain.
The tour will emphasize problems related to health, agriculture, and education,
and members may earn college credits.
P. Johnson joined the Biosciences Branch of the Boeing Airplane Company at
Seattle, Washington, in August. Dr. Johnson was formerly at Texas A &
M College in the Department of Plant Physiology and Pathology.
from the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology of The Ohio State University:
S. Meyer attended, as a member, meetings of the National Science Foundation
Panel on Special Projects in Science Education in Washington, D. C., April
17-18 and June 2-3.
S. Beneke of Michigan State University and Arthur G. McQuate of Heidelberg
College were Visiting Professors in the Department last summer. Both taught
at Stone Laboratory.
Wayne Ellett served as Consultant to the Special Projects in Science Education
Section of the Division of Scientific Personnel and Education, National Science
Foundation, June 15-August 15.
F. Millington has resigned from the Department of Botany at the University
of Wisconsin to take a position in the Department of Biology at Marquette
H. Boke of the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oklahoma, will
be on sabbatical leave from February 1960 to February 1961. He will spend
from three to four months in the field in Mexico, beginning in February, collecting
and photographing cacti for a research project sponsored by the National Science
Foundation. The object of the investigation is to provide further knowledge
of the development and internal structure of certain cacti and to utilize
this in interpreting generic limits and the relationships of the genera.
M. Kummer has been appointed Professor at the Sabin Branch of Chicago Teachers
J. Eigsti has been promoted to the rank of Professor in the Chicago Teachers
survey has been made of what bacteriology teaching and research assistants
were being paid at 34 colleges and universities during the year 1958-59. Probably
assistants in botany were paid at the same rates.
teaching assistants the number of hours of work per week ranges from 8 to
22 with most places requiring 15 to 20. Just half of the institutions use
teaching assistants for 9 months. About half of the remainder have ro months
appointments, the rest 12 months. There is great variation in the number of
hours of graduate work that assistants are allowed to carry, but an estimate
would be that two courses through the year is what the figures mean. Fifteen
institutions charge teaching assistants no fees. In the others, particularly
those with charges for out-of-state students, fees may run as high as $400
for the academic year (and these institutions do not necessarily have the
highest stipends for teaching assistants).
Research Assistants the number of hours of work required per week is about
the same as for teaching assist-ants, 15-20, with a few institutions allowing
up to 40 hours a week, usually with the stipulation that fewer courses may
be taken. The arrangements for fees seem to be about the same for both types
stipends for Teaching Assistantships for 9 months run from under $r000 (2
institutions) to just over $2000 (i institution). Three institutions pay between
$1300 and $1399, I between $1400 and $1499, 3 between $1500 and $1599, 4 between
$1600 and $1699, 2 between $1700 and $1799, 3 between $1800 and $1899 and
one between $1900 and $1999. The pay for so months assistantships is about
the same and also for 12 months assistantships, although the lowest figure
here is between $1200 and $1299 and the highest between $1900 and $1999. It
looks as if the 9 months assistants fare as well as the 12 months assistants,
or better, since they can carry on research, or take another job during the
remaining 3 months of the year.
Assistants who work for 9 months are paid between $1300 and $1999. The stipends
for those who work for Io months range from $1400 to $1899. Those who work
for 12 months fare somewhat better but not much. In to institutions they are
paid over $2000, the highest $2800, if they work 40 hours a week and take
only 6 hours of work for academic credit. If the university has few course
requirements for the advance degree student, research assist-ants may get
their degrees at higher pay in the same length of time as teaching assistants.
Also, they may get to carry on some of their own research while being paid
to assist someone in his research. They may be junior authors of research
reports. But the teaching assistant has gained valuable teaching experience.
does it all add up to? It is hard to say, more than that present day teaching
and research assistantships pay stipends that seem to be adequate for a single
person to live on, so that he should decide to go to whatever college or university
offers him the kind of graduate instruction he thinks is what he wants. He
would be wise to read the fine print, however, and discover how much he will
have to pay in fees from the announced stipend.
Scholar's Library, Publishers, 1619 First Avenue, New York 28, N. Y. wishes
to make known its new plan to publish topical bibliographies in the biological
sciences. These bibliographies will be reference lists to the literature of
an area of specialization not frequently enough handled in the review journals.
It is hoped that the author will circumscribe his subject so that a list of
200-350 entries will be comprehensive. A brief introduction, if the author
finds it desirable, will be welcomed. The publications will be re-produced
by photolithography from the author's own type-script and saddle stitched
with a printed cover and title page. The company would be glad to receive
proposals from prospective authors.
Margaretha G. Mes, Professor of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry at the University
of Pretoria, South Africa, died on July 25, 1959.
honor of the late Professor Mes, the Plant Physiological Research Institute
of the University of Pretoria has been renamed the "Margaretha Mes Institute
for Plant Physiology and Plant Biochemistry".
International Conference On Plant Growth Regulation
Fourth International Conference on Plant Growth Regulation was held at the
Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Yonkers, New York, August Jo
to 14, 1959. The Conference was sponsored jointly by the Institute and by
the New York Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The program
was coordinated with the IXth International Botanical Congress held at Montreal,
Canada, August 19 to 29.
Conference was attended by 126 invited participants from 17 countries. The
first day was devoted to naturally-occurring growth substances, the second
to the gibberellins, the third to the synthetic auxins, and the fourth to
other plant growth substances. In addition to the scheduled papers, ample
time was provided for discussion periods. The papers presented and the discussion
remarks will be published in book form by the Iowa State College Press in
May, 1960. Copies will be sent to each participant and will be available to
others at nominal cost.
International Conferences on Growth Regulants were held at Wye College in
1955, the University of Wisconsin in 1949, and in Paris under the auspices
of the League of Nations in 1937. The present Conference was the first one
at which the gibberellins were discussed. The Japanese scientists who did
the early work on the gibberellins, T. Hayashi, J. Kato, and Yusuke Sumiki,
took part in the Conference, as well as P. W. Brian, who first called the
attention of the western world to the Japanese work. Evidence showing the
probable widespread occurrence of gibberellin-like substances in plants was
presented by C. A. West. Others who took part in the program on the gib-
Science Foundation Announcement
Division of Biological and Medical Sciences of the National Science Foundation
announces that the next closing date for receipt of basic research proposals
in the Life Sciences is January 15, 1960. Proposals received prior to that
date will be reviewed at the spring meeting of the Foundation's advisory panels
and disposition will be made approximately four months following the closing
date. Proposals received after the January 15, 1960, closing date will be
re-viewed following the summer closing date of May 15, 196o. Inquiries should
be addressed to the National Science Foundation, Washington 25, D. C.
Creighton in Peru
B. Creighton, our former Editor, is on sabbatical leave from Wellesley College
until September, 196o. She has a Fulbright Lectureship and will lecture at
the University of Cuzco in Peru, on plant genetics. She will also be engaged
in research on maize cytogenetics. Dr. Creighton will travel in the Andean
countries and visit Research Stations operated by the Rockefeller Foundation.
berellins included B. O. Phinney, M. J. Bukovac, S. H. Wittwcr, A. W. Galston,
S. Housley, and B. J. Deverall. A paper submitted by M. K. Chailakhyan of
the U.S.S.R. on the effect of gibberellic acid on growth and flowering was
also read at the Conference.
the new discoveries reported at the Conference was the disclosure of a new
class of auxins in the long chain aliphatic compounds. i-Docosanol, which
is more active than indoleacetic acid, was isolated from Maryland Mammoth
tobacco by D. G. Crosby and A. J. Vlitos. They also isolated, from the same
source, an active long chain fatty acid not yet fully characterized. Bruce
Stowe also presented evidence of growth-promoting activity by long chain aliphatic
theories on the structural requirements for growth regulants for reaction
with the necessary binding sites, were presented in separate papers by K.
V. Thimann and J. van Overbeck. Some physical chemical aspects of synthetic
auxins with respect to their mode of action were presented by Virgil Freed.
isolation of a new acid from coconut milk which gives about half the stimulation
of growth of tissue cultures produced by whole milk, was reported by L. H.
Weinstein, L. G. Nickell, and W. J. Tulecke.
of the evenings was devoted to a memorial dinner to the late P. W. Zimmerman
who, with his associate, A. E. Hitchcock, first tested 2,4-D for its effect
on plant growth and development. Other chemicals first worked with in his
laboratory include indolebutryic acid and 1-naphthleneacetic acid as well
as a variety of substituted derivatives of benzoic and aryloxyacetic acids.
Zimmerman was originally a member of the organizing committee for the Conference
but became ill and died while on a business trip in August, 1958 at the age
day after the formal sessions ended, the participants were taken on a chartered
boat around Manhattan Island. This afforded an opportunity for them to meet
members of the botany departments of Columbia and Rutgers Universities and
staff members of the sponsoring institutions who are not directly interested
in growth substances and there-fore were not participants in the scientific
support for the Conference was furnished by the Rockefeller Foundation, the
National Science Foundation, and 15 industrial companies interested in agricultural
chemicals. George L. McNew, Managing Director of the Boyce Thompson Institute,
was Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Conference. A. J. Vlitos,
formerly at the Institute and now with Caroni, Ltd. in Trinidad, was Secretary
of the Organizing Committee and Chairman of the Program Committee.
Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Inc.