PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
1966 Volume Twelve Number Four
The Botanist as Scientist and Citizen1
of Botany, University of Tennessee
year ago our Retiring President, Dr. Kramer, gave a challenging discussion
of "Botany in a Changing World." At this time I would like to look beyond
the science to the practitioner, and examine the botanist's role as a scientist,
and citizen, in a swiftly changing universe.
generation, I suppose, feels that it exists in a time of crisis, and probably
there is an element of truth in this feeling. But crises vary in degrees of
intensity, and are seldom exactly comparable. It has been repeated again and
again by all our means of communication that we are now in a period of extreme
crisis, and with this I will agree. The difference, I feel, between our epoch
and previous critical periods lies in the relatively short time allotted to
us for the solution of the dangerous, and often subtle, problems which threaten
dangers to our civilization are inherent in our handling of a number of questions,
the most serious of which is the rapid multiplication of man amid the gaIloping
depletion and deterioration of his natural resources. This problem is one
which we as botanists, because we deal with primary resources, should well
understand and to which we should be able to contribute much.
at present, we ourselves are perplexed, trying to decide whether we should
be scientists or technicians, teachers or investigators, chemists or ecologists,
and whether we should remain cloistered, or should participate in community
each of us "worth his salt" considers himself a specialist. Although this
assemblage here is a limited representation of the community of botanists,
we individually first think of ourselves as morphologists, taxonomists, mycologists,
bryologists, or some other type of specialist. At the same time we must remember
that we are not only botanists and biologists but also members of a large
fraternity of scientists.
scientists we have the responsibility of attempting to find and understand
the relationships existing between one specialty and another, between our
own little fragment of knowledge and life around us, between our specialty
1Address of the Retiring President of
the Botanical Society of America, presented at the Society's annual banquet,
August 17, 1966, at College Park, Maryland. (Contribution from the Botanical
Laboratory, The University of Tennessee, N. Ser. 271.)
the universe as a whole. I cannot emphasize too strongly that there is only
one universe and each part is related to and integrated with every other part.
scientists we have the obligation to extend our enquiries beyond our own little
bailiwick, even if at a more superficial level. We must train ourselves to
think beyond the DNA molecule, the chloroplast, the species, in relating plants
to the past, to the present welfare of man, and to our hopes for the future.
In addition, it is incumbent upon us to teach not only our students, but also
our fellow-citizens and our politicians of these relationships. Also, we must
aggressively facilitate the ex-change of pertinent ideas between our country
and particularly the underdeveloped ones, for science and the problems facing
us are international.
border line between science and technology is obscure, and may it remain so;
but at the same time we, society, and the politicians should understand some
of the fundamental differences in scientific methods and achievements. Only
thus can we get a reasonable balance in the support of both technology and
science. As I understand it, scientists search for the unknowns such as new
evidence concerning matter or fundamental relation-ships within our universe
of which we are unaware. Technologists attempt to apply scientific information
to problems. It is clear that pure science must provide the reservoir of material
out of which technology operates. It also should furnish philosophical assistance
to the humanities and social sciences.
natural sciences never have been so favored as they are -at present. Although
there have been some in-equities in the division of the resources, they are
each much better supported than they have been in the past, and so much better
financed than the humanities and the social sciences that this in itself is
recent legislation creating a National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities
was extremely wise. I feel that expansion of research in these fields will
help man to understand himself better, and thus may provide greater benefits
to humanity; greater than came from the recent emphasis on research in science
and technology. It is incumbent upon us, the botanists and natural scientists,
to see that the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences are at least
as adequately supported as we have been (and why not better?)—and that
every phase of each discipline gets its share of public support. We must insist
that division of funds is not made on a basis of drama, or fad, or the "Squeaky
wheel," but on everlasting merit.
permit technology to expand explosively at the expense of pure science, or
worse yet to the detriment of the humanities and social sciences, is to invite
catastrophic chaos. It is possible that we may have already reached the point
of no-return by developing atomic explosives and other destructive devices
and placing them in the hands of those who have little education beyond the
technical level, and who are ill-advised in the safe use of them. Military
technology can terribly bankrupt our philosophy, as well as our economy, and
perhaps even destroy man's chance of survival.
strive to reach the moon and to investigate Mars, when we so poorly understand
our own earthly habitat, particularly the relationships between man and man,
and between society and society. Our tendency to promote the spectacular,
the dramatic, or the intimidating phases of science and technology at the
expense of discovering our fundamental relationship to our environment is
growing; such a trend will decrease the quality of our civilization and could
completely destroy it.
some of you misunderstand, I have no quarrel with those who would try to place
men on the moon or attempt to discover the nature of the surface of Mars.
These are challenging problems, and I support them as long as in doing so,
we do not jeopardize our chances of understanding our environment and human
relations here, and of securing for mankind some chance of survival into the
future. Sometimes I am reminded of a quotation from Hemingway's Old Man and
am glad that we do not have to try to kill the stars. Imagine if each day
a man must try to kill the moon. The moon runs away. But imagine if a man
each day should have to try to kill the sun? We are born lucky. Yes, we are
matter which should be of concern to us as scientists is our failure to give
our fellow citizens the kind of interpretations which help them to see the
relation-ships between our expensive activities and their everyday life, endeavors
which should enhance spiritual values or improve economic conditions. We need
to see to it that news of our work and the results thereof are understood
by our voters, and particularly our politicians, in such a manner that they
comprehend our objectives, and can defend demands that we be adequately supported.
of Botany, Washington State University
P. Banks, Cornell University
H. Boke, University of Oklahoma
S. Greenfield, Rutgers University
L. Stern. Smithsonian Institution
Steiner, University of Michigan
1966 Volume Twelve Number Four
of Address: Notify the Treasurer of the Botanical Society
America, Inc., Dr. Harlan P. Banks, Department of Botany,
University, Ithaca, New York 14850.
for libraries and persons not members of the Bo-
Society of America are obtainable at the rate of $2.00 a
orders with checks payable to "Botanical Society of
Inc." to the Treasurer.
submitted for publication should be typewritten, double-
and sent in duplicate to the Editor. Copy should follow
style of recent issues of the Bulletin.
in this problem is the extensive and often unnecessary multiplication of scientific
jargon. As examples, why should we attempt to replace botany by phycology,
or algology by phycology, or plant chemistry by phytochemistry, only to confuse
our lay supporters? New terms must be coined as knowledge accumulatesyes—but
unnecessary multiplication of technical words makes it difficult for the layman
to understand us. Man is suspicious and afraid of that which he does not comprehend.
It is possible that we may experience an alienation of support from the general
public because of this deficiency in public relations. In recent years we
as botanists have not been very clever in presenting our cause to the public.
should assist in the recruitment and the training of science reporters. The
temptation always is to proselyte the type of student who would make a good
interpreter of science into science itself. This in the end is a short-sighted
course, for the job of reporting sciences to the layman demands an understanding
scholar of high intelligence who is capable both of written analysis and written
scientists, I am sure we are well aware of the problems involved in the teaching
of undergraduates. The emphasis on research has been greatly augmented in
the period since World War II, to the point that, by contrast, the teaching
of beginning college students has been relegated to a place of relative unimportance.
The seriousness of this problem cannot be overestimated. Poor teaching diminishes
the quality of the students entering graduate science programs. Moreover,
we deny the housewife, the banker, the lawyer, those who are to be our future
voters and politicians, the chance to get a broad and intelligent understanding
not only of our discipline, but also of the intricate relationships in our
environment. If we fail to teach them, they cannot influence our political
officials and our legislatures to provide those actions which ensure our future.
It is very important that we give up the illusion that the intracellular sciences
are a sane substitute for all organismal and environmental biology in their
hope we do not excuse ourselves from our clear obligations merely on a basis
of the flood of students, or because the administration may take insufficient
interest in the excellence of our teaching. It is our obligation to participate
in undergraduate instruction, in recruiting and training good teaching personnel,
and in obtaining a better balance in the recognition, both in status and in
salary, of both good teachers and good research professors. I would upgrade
of the responsibility for the unrest on the campus today can be placed on
our attitudes, and those of the public, toward instruction. Up to an advanced
level the student has been told rather than taught. Because of the large numbers
of bodies which we are all too willing to accept, there is seldom time for
more than impersonal lectures which are becoming more frequently "canned,"
the administrators and politicians are sure that we cannot afford somewhat
more costly but more effective methods. And not until the students are juniors
or seniors or in graduate school are they permitted a somewhat free discussion
of their ideas and reactions. Is it surprising, in view of this delay in informal
contacts with teachers, that there is a rebellion in our large institutions?
Botanical Society of America has traditionally had a strong, imaginative Committee
on Education, one which has been recognized as a leader among those interested
in the teaching of sciences. I hope the present Committee will be even more
vigorous than those of the past, and that we individually will give it strong
support, in pursuing the problem of adequate instruction for the masses in
our classes, who tomorrow will be in control of our resources and our destiny.
we are more than botanists or scientists; we are citizens! As such we have
responsibilities to the community and society in which we live. It is incumbent
upon us to give some attention to social and political problems. It may take
time and energy from us to discharge these obligations, but I can cite several
reasons why it must be done.
citizens, we have the tradition of realizing the importance of our microcosm
only after it is "diseased." We worry about erosion, water and air pollution,
depleted water supplies, and other environmental problems only after they
have become essentially gangrenous. Would it not be wiser to keep the "patient"
well? I will admit that prevention of damage to our environment requires first,
an intelligent awareness of the interrelationships in our environment and
second, careful thought—both of which are scarce commodities in our
present cultural atmosphere. Incidentally, it costs less in the end. Substitution
of dollars for this awareness and thought may delay the total destruction
of a habitat in which we can survive, but money alone cannot prevent it.
as botanical citizens, deal with the resources most basic to our social economy.
Food, clothing, housing and furniture, protection for our soils, reservoirs
for rainwater, and food and cover for wildlife come directly or indirectly
from plants. No one should be in a better position than botanists to teach
and advise students, laymen, and legislators concerning production and wise
use of these plant materials. Actually our interests should extend beyond
these resources into such matters as the pollution of water, air, and foodstuffs,
and even population controls. As scientists and citizens I feel we have an
unusual obligation to take an active, not just a passive, role in the decision-making,
as well as in education, concerning these matters. And, I emphasize that it
must be done in an objective manner. To ask people in the employ of an industry
to give an impartial appraisal of the effects of their products on the environment
and total welfare of mankind is futile, and indeed stupid.
each individual has a very dim view of the conditions of the past, and his
evaluations usually are based on what he remembers from his youth. This, through
time, can lead to an insidious erosion of values whether they pertain to the
environment or to the spirit—a fact that is far too little appreciated.
To be fully effective, comparative evaluations must be rooted in history more
extensive than one lifetime.
and other scientists have been unusually reluctant to accept political, and
some social, responsibilities. In fact we almost have a tradition of nonparticipation
in governmental matters. I am not urging that we participate in politics as
an organization, although I can visualize circumstances when that might be
wise, but rather that we accept the individual obligations accruing from our
must be more aggressive in our willingness to inform and to serve as advisers
and consultants, even with-out fees where public welfare demands it. We must
talk and/or write to our Iocal politicians and our state and federal officers,
and encourage our students and neighbors to do the same, when important decisions
affecting society are about to be made. We cannot afford wrong decisions to
be made, or to stand, because we have failed to inform, to advise, or to protest.
I repeat something I have suggested before. If we are to continue to ask for,
and receive adequate support in the future, we must see to it that the voters
and legislature receive adequate and clear information about us and our work.
It is possible that the gap in communication between the scientists and the
laymen could widen to the point that the public would aggressively interfere
with our activities instead of supporting them. Moreover, we must not fail
to discharge our obligations at the polls, or even, when the occasion demands,
serve as political candidates and as elected officials. We must make an intense
effort to understand the intricate relationships, and the problems inherent
therein, among scientific, social, and political structures.
summary, I have attempted to remind you that you are not only botanists, but
scientists and citizens. By taking full advantage of our responsibilities
we can instill in our students, and also the public, a broad philosophy concerning
their relationship to the universe, which could enhance in many ways the lives
of present and future generations. I feel it is our obligation, and we can
and must accept it.
FROM THE EDITOR
first article under "Guidelines to Botanical Teaching" appears in this issue.
Your comments, recommendations, and criticisms are solicited. Should we continue
with this series? Should the articles be longer or shorter than this prototype,
or is it about right in length? If you think this proposed series of articles
will prove useful we particularly request that you send in what you think
are appropriate manuscripts, or encourage your colleagues to do so.
200 "Guides to Graduate Study in Botany" have now been sold, but we shall
have to sell somewhat more than twice this number to pay for their preparation
and printing. Please call your graduating seniors' attention to this document
as a guide to their selection of an appropriate graduate school. Copies may
be purchased for $3.00 each, postpaid, by writing to
of the Botanical Society of America, Department of Botany, Indiana University,
Bloomington, Indiana 47401.
to Botanical Teaching
in Ultrastructure for Introductory College Botany
L. Cohen Washington State University
contrast with the older view of the cell which held it to be a bag of more
or less viscous liquid with organelles floating in it, the modern view sees
the cell as a highly ordered system of structures. Many of the basic chemical
functions of the cell, such as synthesis and respiration, take place on surfaces
(cell and vacuolar membranes, Golgi bodies, mitochondria, chloroplasts, endoplasmic
reticulum) or on particles attached to the membrane (ribosomes, oxysomes,
quantasomes). Mechanical movement (protoplasmic streaming, chromosomal movement,
flagellar movement) is associated with fine fibers or with tubules.
subcellular structures almost bridge the gap between the optically observable
parts and the biochemical activities of the cell. They cannot be ignored if
coherence is to be given to the presentation of the cell and organism in an
elementary course. A checklist of topics with suggested places where they
may be introduced into the elementary botany course is given here, as well
as some indication of their relative importance. The field of cell biology
is advancing so rapidly that terminology and interpretations are still somewhat
confused. Therefore an explanatory glossary is provided for certain cell structures.
The brief annotated bibliography lists important general books in English.
membrane, unit membrane structure in general. Since membrane structure
is basic to many organelles within the cell as well as the cell membrane,
it should be introduced at a relatively early point.
The structure and functions of chloroplasts may be discussed prior to
or after the structure and function of mitochondria. If the students are
already grounded in the basic metabolism of the plant, a comparative discussion
of both in structure and function can be extremely rewarding.
As the major organelle of aerobic respiration, no course is complete without
at least mention of the mitochondria.
reticulum and ribosomes. These structures fit in well with the discussion
of nuclear function on the molecular level. Brief mention may be given
in a survey of the cell, but the significance of the ER and ribosomes
is more apparent after the students have been grounded in the genetic
nucleolus. The nucleus has been most refractory to ultrastructural study.
The instructor may find it the better strategy to stick to the classical
cytological picture of chromosome structure and behavior.
apparatus. At the present time the Golgi deserves brief mention, but not
much more than that. As a universal cell constituent its importance is
indisputable, but its functions are still very much under investigation.
wall. Except as a special or optional topic to illustrate molecular architecture,
ultrastructure of the cell wall should not be considered in any detail
in a general botany class.
These structures deserve at least brief mention if only because the cells
of higher plants seem to get along well without them. The universal 9
+ 2 fiber structure of flagella and cilia should also be mentioned, since
this uniformity of basic structure applies to all flagellated (or ciliated)
cells whether plants or animals, except for the bacteria.
starch grains, etc. Discussion of the structure of these bodies is optional
The blue-green algae and the bacteria form a remarkable group of organisms
quire distinct from the other plants and animals. If evolution and the
early evolution of life are stressed in a course, their organization makes
an interesting comparison with that of the "true" cells (Eukaryotes).
Cell Structures—A Guide for the Perplexed
Basically a complex cylindrical body usually consisting of nine peripheral
fibers with or without two central ones. So far not found in tracheophytes
except in antherozoids and their immediate precursor cells. Also more or less
synonymous with centrosome, basal body, blepharoplast, kinetoplast.
As the prime converter of energy for biological processes, and the most characteristic
structure of the plant, chloroplasts and photosynthesis have long been the
subject of intensive study. Nevertheless there are facets of structure and
function which are still unresolved. Constructs of the relation of grana membranes
to each other and to the stroma vary from author to author, as do details
of the origin of chloroplasts. The instructor who attempts to get a picture
of chloroplast by reading several different sources may find himself lost
in difficulties. (For a critical discussion, see T. E. Weier, Amer. J. Bat.
50:604. 1963.) The quantasomes found as minute bodies on the grana are supposed
to be the primary sites of photosynthesis. They are thus the counterpart of
the mitochondrial oxysomes.
reticulum and ribosomes. The endoplasmic reticulum is generally more prominent
in animal than in plant cells. Much of the endoplasmic reticulum known as
rough or granular reticulum has attached ribosomes, the site of protein synthesis.
Since the agranular reticulum lacks ribosomes, it is also called smooth endoplasmic
reticulum. The endoplasmic reticulum has sometimes been seen to be continuous
with the nuclear envelope, and may have its origin as evaginations of the
envelope. The origin of the ribosomes is not altogether clear, although it
appears that they originate as formed bodies in the nucleus. The relation
of ribosomes to other RNA-bearing components of the cell (messenger RNA, transfer
RNA) is considered in many texts in genetics and biology and need not be further
discussed here. Ribosomes may occur in groups, known as polyribosomes or polysomes,
and may also occur free in the cytoplasm.
body (or apparatus). The Golgi body is also known as the dictyosome, especially
in plants. The Golgi bodies of animal cells are generally larger than those
of plant cells, fewer in number, and situated near the nucleus instead of
being scattered through the cytoplasm. The cytologist hence knew where to
look and what to look for. Thus some older books carry the statement based
on optical microscope data that this organ does not exist in plants. The Golgi
appears to be primarily concerned with the accumulation and secretion of substances.
Probably the stacks of membranes called Golgi have different functions even
in the same cell, for protein, lipoid, and polysaccharide secretion have been
ascribed to them. In the dividing cells of some plants, they are concentrated
characteristically against the forming cell plate, and may secrete the substances
involved in its formation.
Bodies, about the size of mitochondria or smaller, which are packed with hydrolytic
enzymes. Al-though the cells of higher plants do not have structures which
resemble the lysosomes of animal cells in all respects, the spherosomes (microsomes
of older botanists) may be more or less equivalent.
In the past, a name given to almost any minute distinct structure in the cell.
More recently applied to particles containing RNA found after cells are mechanically
ruptured. Apparently microsomes in this sense have no existence in the living
cells—the microsomes of ruptured cells are probably fragments of endoplasmic
reticulum membrane with attached ribosomes. The term micro-some, because of
the confusion surrounding it, should be discarded.
of cells and vacuoles. The basic membrane structure of the cell is now thought
to be a sandwich of protein-lipoid-protein approximately 75 A in thickness.
J. D. Robertson has applied the now generally accepted term, unit membrane,
to this sandwich. In the usual high resolution electron micrograph the membrane
appears to be an empty space between two dense lines. The clear region merely
indicates that the material is electron trans-parent, not that there is an
empty space. The unit membrane, or multiples of it, seems to compose the membranes
of vacuoles, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, and therefore the unit may
be considered a basic cytoplasmic structure.
In recent years fine tubes have been found in the cytoplasm of animal and
plant cells. These tubes (or more probably rods with an electron-dense sheath
and an electron-transparent core) have a wall composed of 10-13 fibrils, probably
of protein nature. Each of the 11 filaments of a flagellum seems to be composed
of such tubules as do the spindle fibers. The microtubules appear to be an
important component of the cytoplasm concerned with structure and movement,
either ciliary or protoplasmic streaming. Too recent to be discussed in the
general references given at the end of this paper, they are nevertheless mentioned
here because of the rapidly increasing recognition of their importance as
a fundamental component of the cytoplasm. Cytoplasmic microrubules, microfilaments,
and microfibrils as used by the general cytologist should not be confused
with the microfibrils, which is a botanical term for the fibrils in plant
chondriosomes. Although mitochondrion is the generally accepted term for this
organelle, the name chondriosome is also used, particularly in botanical literature.
The chondriome refers to the collection or system of chondriosomes. As the
chief source of respiration energy in the cell, the mitochondria should occupy
a prominent place in any discussion of ultrastructure. The outer membrane
appears to be made of two unit membranes in juxtaposition, and the cristae
are infoldings of the inner unit membrane. The small bodies seen on the cristae,
the oxysomes are believed to carry the Krebs cycle-cytochrome system. There
is some question as to whether the oxysomes are on the surface as seen in
high-resolution micrographs, or whether they are normally imbedded in the
membrane and are forced to the surface by the trauma of fixation. The mitochondria
have much in common with chloroplasts. Both have DNA and are presumably self-duplicating
by budding, both are energy converters, and both have their major activity
on internal membranes.
nucleolus. The electron microscope has revealed the double unit membrane structure
of the nuclear envelope, its continuity with the endoplasmic reticulum, confirmed
the existence of spindle fibers, and it has revealed little else. Basic chromosome
structure is still a confused field. (For a particularly clear and concise
discussion, see Morrison in the bibliography.) Cytochemical tests have shown
the nucleolus to be largely composed of RNA, but whether it is a source or
a reservoir and what relation it bears to the cytoplasmic RNA has not yet
Apparently formed in the endoplasmic reticulum, the spherosomes are apparently
reservoirs of lipoids and possibly of some enzymes. Spherosomes are finely
granular at high magnifications without discernible regular substructure.
The spherosomes are mentioned be-cause they may be seen with the light microscope
as minute dense bodies, often in rapid Brownian motion. Possibly they have
a common origin with lysosomes, the larger, enzyme-containing vesicles characteristic
of animal cells but not definitely recognized in higher plants.
bacteria, and blue-green algae. These organisms have been placed in the plant
kingdom because the majority of them have rigid cell walls and because most
blue-green algae and some bacteria carry out photo-synthesis. Yet the cell
wall is largely mucopeptide and not cellulosic as in the true plants. The
equivalents of chloroplasts, nuclei, and mitochondria have their plates and
threads lying free in the cytoplasm instead of being delimited by membranes,
and most of the enzymes are located near the cell surface. (See the article
by Echlin, Blue-Green Algae in Scientific American, Vol. 214, No. 6, pp. 74-81,
E., W. W. Nowinski, and P. A. Saez. Cell Biology
ed.). Saunders, Philadelphia, 1965. This book, known in previous editions
as General Cytology, is the standard text in the field. It integrates cell
structure both on the microscopic and submicroscopic scale with the function
of cell organelles. The chapter devoted to plant structures, the sections
explaining the use and theory of various instruments for
cell structure and function, and the chapters on cytogenetics are especially
D. W. An Atlas of Fine Structure, The Cell. Saunders, Philadelphia, 1966.
As the title implies, this is chiefly a collection of photographs, all of
them excellent and many superb, of cell ultrastructure. Although it is based
on the animal cell, it is placed here because of the concise, balanced, and
extremely lucid summaries of each organelle.
A. and K. Muhlethaler. Ultrastructural Plant Cytology. Elsevier, Amsterdam,
1965. An advanced and scholarly text, written by authorities in the field.
The introductory portion on molecular biology, while not simple, is comprehensive.
In focusing attention on the plant cell, the authors tend to slight cellular
structures common to both plant and animal and also tend to present as accepted
fact what are basically their own theories of structure. The book is over-priced
for its content and format.
D. (ed.). The Living Cell. (Readings from Scientific American.) Freeman, San
Francisco, 1965. This collection of articles on the cell from the Scientific
American should be in every college biology library. Most of the articles
are written by specialists in the respective subjects; all are well written
and illustrated, some of them being brilliantly so, Brachet's general survey
of the cell is particularly recommend-ed. The articles are available as inexpensive
reprints from W. H. Freeman and Company.
W. A. The Plant Cell. Wadsworth Publishing Co., Belmont, California, 1964.
This small paper-bound volume is written with the undergraduate student in
mind. It has a good glossary, and the bibliographies refer largely to articles
which can he found in most libraries.
J. H. Functional Organelles. Reinhold, New York, 1966. Despite the forbidding
monographic appearance of the title, this book is highly recommended as being
a very concise and clear discussion of cell structures and their function.
Complicated and conflicting theories are stripped to their essentials and
the differences and similarities made apparent by very clear diagrams and
explanations. The book may be understood by any student with an elementary
grounding in chemistry.
G. B. and J. H. Morrison. Cytology (2nd ed.). Reinhold, New York, 1966. A
clear and balanced account of cell biology, including its history, methods
of study, and relations to other fields. Structure and function are well correlated.
An annotated bibliography adds to the value of this work.
Oceanography Fellowships Available
Oceanographic Expedition 14 will investigate the biology of the oxygen minimum
layer off Western Mexico and Central America during the 1967 spring quarter
(i.e., March 27 to June 9) aboard the 135-foot research schooner TE VEGA.
The expedition represents an intensive, 15-unit graduate-level course in Biological
Oceanography given at sea by a faculty of three. The graduate students serve
as research colleagues, not research assistants, in planning, developing,
and conducting the research program. Ten NSF Fellowships covering board and
room, transportation and tuition are available. Applicants may be of either
sex but must be biology majors. The application deadline is January 30, 1967.
For information contact: Dr. Malvern Gilmartin, Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific
Grove, California, 93950.
Information Service of Biological Abstracts announces the publication of a
monthly abstract journal, "Abstracts of Mycology." Beginning in January 1967
of three trial issues of this journal will be circulated to individual scientists
with known interests in this specialized field of study. The three-month trial
or announcement phase is expected to indicate in general the value of such
an information tool to individuals in a limited subfield of a major discipline
and to ascertain in particular whether the users of mycological information
will be receptive to this customized type of information service.
of Mycology" will make available all abstracts dealing with fungi which now
appear in the semi-monthly "Biological Abstracts," which in 1967 is scheduled
to include some 125,000 abstracts. Literature in 6,900 journals emanating
from ninety-one countries provides the source for this material. The new mycology
journal will represent studies of fungi in all subfields of biology including
biochemistry, cytology, genetics, microbiology, and pathology. A sample survey
of 18 issues of "Biological Abstracts" published in 1963 revealed a total
of 3,170 abstracts of mycology papers from 651 different journals. It is expected
that in 1967 at least 5,000 mycology abstracts will be available for publication.
of this journal is being undertaken after consultation with and on the advice
of a committee of leading U.S. mycologists, chaired by Dr. Chester R. Benjamin,
President of the Mycological Society of America.
abstracts will be printed within 3" x 5" frames, on one side of the page only,
three frames per page forming a 5" x 9" page. This format is designed especially
for individuals who maintain a personal reference file of abstracts pertinent
to their interests. An Author Index, Biosystematic Index and Subject Finder
will accompany each issue of "Abstracts of Mycology." A Cumulative Author,
Biosystematic and Subject Index will be provided.
of Mycology" subscription rate will be $30.00 per year; however, the introductory
price for 1967 is $22.50. For additional information, or to order a subscription,
please address: "Abstracts of Mycology," Professional Services and Education
Department, BioSciences Information Service of Biological Abstracts, 2100
Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103, U.S.A.
New University of Michigan Botanical Gardens
May 1, 1966, the buildings of the new University of Michigan Gardens were
completed. Located on rolling land four miles from the main campus in Ann
Arbor, it includes the following features: sixteen office-laboratories for
staff and researchers; three classrooms; two greenhouses for instructional
purposes; three greenhouses for research and Gardens projects; a large demonstration
conservatory; a controlled-environment building; and an auditorium seating
160 persons. The Gardens were planned and developed by A. Geoffrey Norman,
the buildings designed by Alden B. Dow, and the grounds landscaped by Charles
W. Cares. The new facility replaces the smaller Botanical Garden which was
used for many years under the direction of Harley H. Bartlett, and which by
the middle 1950's had become too small for the expanding botanical activities
cf the university. The founding of the new Gardens was made possible by the
generous donations of Regent Fred-
C. Matthaei, supplemented by university funds and substantial support from
the National Science Foundation.
addition to out-of-door gardens currently being developed (plants illustrating
genetic principles, arboretum, wildflowers of the Great Lakes region, economic
and medicinal plants), the native areas on the grounds include an excellent
diversity of natural ecological situations, among them marshes, bogs, lakes,
and creek bottomlands. The flora on the Gardens property, which totals 240
acres, is made up of between 900 and 1,000 species of higher plants, providing
sites which are ideal for teaching classes in systematics and ecology.
major function of the Botanical Gardens is to augment the research activities
in plant sciences at the University of Michigan, but its activities are also
closely allied with the university's teaching program and with service to
the public. Some fifty-five research projects of staff and graduate students
are currently being con-ducted, these representing the departments of Botany
and Zoology in the School of Literature, Science and the Arts, and projects
in the schools of Natural Resources, Medicine, and Pharmacy. The new classrooms
were occupied in the fall of 1966 with three courses—Applied Botany,
Ecology, and Agrostology, with a total enrollment of 128. In addition to those
courses taught regularly on the premises, some fifteen other courses make
use of its materials and facilities.
outside groups, numbering over 100 during the last half of 1966, are guided
by graduate student instructors of the Department of Botany. These visiting
groups are made up mainly of students (from grade 2 to university graduates),
but also include interested citizens and noneducational organizations. Some
of the societies whose activities are related to those of the Gardens use
the Botanical Gardens auditorium for regular meetings, e.g., Michigan Natural
Areas Council, Audubon Society, Michigan Botanical Club, Ann Arbor Garden
Club, and the Rose Society.
members of the academic staff of the Botanical Gardens are also professors
in their respective departments of instruction. They are Curators, Professor
A. G. Norman and Professor W. S. Benninghoff; Economic Botanist, Professor
Erich E. Steiner; Biosystematist, Associate Professor Otto T. Solbrig; Horticultural
Botanist, Assistant Professor Edward L. McWilliams; Director, Professor W.
H. Wagner, Jr. (all Department of Botany) ; Curator of Medicinal Plants, Professor
Ara G. Paul (Pharmacognosy) ; and Professor C. W. Cares, Department of Landscape
Architecture. The nonacademic staff comprises the Superintendent, Walter F.
Kleinschmidt; the Secretary, Mrs. Patricia Holden; and thirteen botanical
its interactions with other departments and schools of the university, as
well as the diversity of projects being conducted by physiologists, cytologists,
systematists, and ecologists of the Department of Botany itself, it is expected
that the new Botanical Gardens will play a strong role in maintaining the
broad approach to plant studies which has always been traditional at the University
Carl P. Swanson of the Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University, has
been appointed as Visiting Professor of Genetics at Washington State University
for the second semester, 1966-67. Dr. Swanson will present a lecture course
on "The Chromosome as a Functioning Organelle." He is also scheduled to deliver
four university-wide lectures under the general title, "The Natural History
Norvel M. McClung, formerly of the University of Georgia, has been appointed
Professor of Botany and Bacteriology at the University of South Florida, Tampa.
Dr. Marvin R. Alvarez, formerly of the University of Florida, has been appointed
Assistant Professor of Botany and Bacteriology at the University of South
Flowers of the United States
October 10, 1966, Mrs. Lyndon Baines Johnson paid botany a tribute by attending
the New York Botanical Garden-McGraw Hill sponsored reception honoring the
publication of the first volume of "Wild Flowers of the United States" by
Dr. Harold W. Rickett, Senior Botanist of the New York Botanical Garden. The
reception was held in the Union Carbide Building in Manhattan and was attended
by flower lovers and notables in botany from the New York area.
I of this series covers the northeastern section of the United States from
the Atlantic Ocean to Minnesota and Missouri, and from the Canadian border
to Virginia and Missouri. Volume I consists of two books handsomely boxed
and sells for $39.50. One hundred and eighty plates, each containing six to
eight beautifully reproduced, magnificent color photographs, illustrate the
species that are covered. Additional line drawings are provided to help the
reader distinguish the species of some of the more difficult genera. Volume
II is expected to appear during the spring of 1967. It will cover wild flowers
of the southeastern section of the United States. In all, five volumes are
William C. Steere, Director of the New York Botanical Garden, is General Editor
of the series. Collaborators include Rogers McVaugh, Robert B. Mohlenbrock,
Gerald B. Ownbey, Reed C. Rollins, John W. Thomson, and the late Robert E.
Woodson. Mrs. David Rockefeller is Chairman of the Wild Flowers Book Committee.
All associated with the project, the New York Botanical Garden, and the McGraw
Hill Publishing Company deserve accolades for a job well and beautifully done.
Lawrence J. Crockett
of the City of New York
Ernst Weaver 1884-1966
death of Dr. J. E. Weaver after over fifty years at the University of Nebraska
terminated a career of teaching and research that affected the field of plant
ecology all over the world. Professor Weaver graduated from the University
of Nebraska in 1909 and went on to the University of Minnesota to receive
his Ph.D. degree. He returned to Nebraska in 1915 and remained there for the
rest of his illustrious career.
Weaver is best known for his studies of the North American Prairie. He published
twelve books and over 100 papers. He studied many phases of the ecology of
the prairies and plains and developed a number of new methods of studying
grasslands. He is particularly noted for his many excellent studies on the
root systems of prairie plants. Six books were authored or co-authored by
Dr. Weaver on roots including "The Ecological Relations of Roots," "Root Development
in the Grassland Formation," "Development and Activities of Roots of Crop
Plants," "Root Behavior and Crop Yield under Irrigation," "Root Development
of Field Crops," and "Root Development of Vegetable Crops."
studies on the effects of drought and grazing on grasslands were written by
Dr. Weaver and his students. Dr. Weaver co-authored a text on plant ecology
with F. E. Clements which was widely adopted throughout the world, translated
into many languages, and is still considered an important reference. Even
after his retirement in 1962, Dr. Weaver continued to write and the day before
his death he completed proofreading his last book entitled "Fifty Years of
Research." Dr. Weaver was a doer, a field ecologist, and spent most of his
time collecting and reporting his data and as little time as possible reflecting
the importance of his findings. Much of his data was interpreted and used
by other people. Many of the conservation practices in the entire grassland
formation have been developed as a result of Dr. Weaver's studies.
amount of research accomplished by Dr. Weaver was enough to fill a lifetime
of arduous work but perhaps his greatest contribution was as a teacher. His
students are leaders in plant ecology all over the world. He guided more than
fifty students through their Ph.D. degrees. Included among these were students
from India, the Philippines, Russia, Germany, Canada, England, China, the
Netherlands, Romania, Japan, Turkey, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Brazil, Pakistan,
Greece, Australia, Hawaii, and Iran; many worked with Dr. Weaver before World
War II' when foreign students were relatively uncommon in this country. Dr.
Weaver's reputation helped make the University of Nebraska one of the principal
centers of plant ecology for half a century. He expected hard work and accurate
results of his students, but he was always working hard and effectively with
them. One of the fondest memories of his students was of the long walks they
took with him for relaxation with the topic of conversation being plant ecology
from beginning to end. His classroom lectures were always extremely interesting,
enthusiastically presented, and documented by results of his and other current
of .his former students, Dr. L. A. Stoddard, wrote "There comes occasionally
to every scientific field a man who is so enthusiastic, and so devoted to
his work that it becomes his very way of life. To him nature seems to unfold
her secrets in response to his devotion; his ability to understand and communicate
about nature becomes an inspiration to students and fellow workers alike.
Such a man is John Ernst Weaver in the field of American grassland ecology."
honors came to Dr. Weaver. He was most pleased in being listed as one of the
100 "starred" botanists in the American Men of Science. In 1950 he was selected
as an honorary president of the International Botanical Congress held in Stockholm,
Sweden. He was listed as one of the world's fifty outstanding botanists in
a book entitled, "Fifty Years of Botany," published in 1959. Perhaps his greatest
honor was the acceptance and use of his research findings by most agencies
and individuals working with the utilization and conservation of grass-lands.
Weaver's philosophy about his work is well ex-pressed by his remarks in his
book, "North American Prairie": "Nature is an open book for those who care
to read. Each grass-covered hillside is a page on which is written the history
of the past, conditions of the present, and predictions of the future."
Haw Kansas State College
Wesley Parker 1907-1966
W. Parker, Associate Director, Agricultural Re-search Service, U.S. Department
of Agriculture, died suddenly on October 8, 1966, He was born December 4,
1907, in Salisbury, Maryland, where he spent his boyhood. He earned his A.B.
degree in Botany at Hampden-Sydney in 1928, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees
in Plant Physiology from the University of Maryland in 1930 and 1932.
Parker held various positions in both teaching and research in Plant Physiology
at the University of Maryland until 1936, when he was appointed plant physiologist
at the Plant Industry Station, Beltsville, Maryland. From 1936 to 1952, Dr.
Parker investigated the physiology of flowering and seed germination. In 1952,
he transferred from research to research administration in the U.S. Department
of Agriculture. He was in charge of the Division of Rubber Investigations
from 1952-54, and the Weed Investigations Section from 1954-56. He became
Assistant Director of the Crops Research in 1956, and its Director in 1957.
April 1964, Secretary Orville Freeman appointed Dr. Parker chairman of the
Task Force to Study the Training and Scientific Environment of the Department's
Research and Education Personnel. In October 1964, he became Acting Director
of the Research Program Development and Evaluation Staff. In March 1965, he
was appointed Associate Administrator, Agricultural Research Service, U.S.
Department of Agriculture.
Parker was a member of the American Society of Agronomy, American Society
of Plant Physiologists, Botanical Society of America, and Washington Academy
of Sciences. He was honored by membership in Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Chi
Beta Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Beta Kappa. He also took an active
part in many civic organizations.
Parker was markedly successful in both research and research administration.
His most significant scientific achievement was the contribution he made to
the knowledge of plant photoperiodism. His untimely death removed one who
was highly effective in scientific administration. S. B. Hendricks
Agricultural Research Service