PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
WINTER 2005 VOLUME 51 NUMBER 4
The Botanical Society of America: The Society for ALL Plant Biologists
Table of Contents
100th Anniversary Series
Harriet B. Creighton:
News from the Society
The Power of Plants: Building Collaborations among Educational Institutions,
and Botanical Gardens Communities
Is it Cool to Know and Do Science? Can We Create a Scientific Temper? Linking Scientists,
College Faculty, K-12 Teachers and their
Students in Collaborative Research
Returning Biodiversity Knowledge and Information to Society: The Case of
Botanical Society of America Members and Plant Science Bulletin Readers
Botanical Society of America's Statement on Evolution
Intelligent Design: It's Not Even Wrong
Karla Meza Awarded Timothy Plowman Scholarship
Awards, Conferences, Meetings
2nd Meeting of the International Society for Phylogenetic Nomenclature
Timothy C. Plowman Latin American Research Award;
Premio de investigación Latinoamericano Timothy C. Plowman. ........133
National Tropical Botanical Garden Fellowship for College Professors
Biology S-105 "Biodiversity of tropical plants."
Paleobotanist., East Tennessee State University
Systematic and Evolutionary Biology, University of Georgia
Orchid Taxonomist, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Dean and Vice President for Science,International Plant Science Center New York Botanical Garden
Director of Research & Chair, Department of Botany, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, California
NEON Progress Report
New Exhibition Showcases Research Projects by New York Botanical Garden Scientists.
BSA Contact Information.
Botanical Society of America Logo Items
Plant Science Bulletin 51(4) 2005
Plant Science Bulletin
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Address Editorial Matters (only) to:
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POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
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Editorial Committee for Volume 51
Andrew W. Douglas (2005)
Department of Biology
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
Douglas W. Darnowski (2006)
Department of Biology
Indiana University Southeast
New Albany, IN 47150
Andrea D. Wolfe (2007)
Department of EEOB
1735 Neil Ave., OSU
Columbus, OH 43210-1293
Samuel Hammer (2008)
College of General Studies
Boston, MA 02215
Joanne M. Sharpe (2009)
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
P.O. Box 234
Boothbay ME 04537
This is the last issue of Plant Science Bulletin before we begin the Botanical
Society's Centennial Year. What better way is there to prepared for the celebration
than to highlight the career of one of our most distinguished former members,
especially if she happened to be President of the Botanical Society of America
during our 50th year? I originally invited Dr. Lee Kass to write a shorter piece
about Harriet Creighton to give us a sense her personality as well as her scholarship.
Lee, who is chairperson of the BSA Historical Section, has presented us with a
piece of her own scholarship that goes well beyond my original request. I am proud
to be affiliated with the organization to which Creighton was so dedicated. I'm
sure you'll feel the same way!
HARRIET B. CREIGHTON: PROUD BOTANIST
Harriet Creighton (1909-2004) was the third woman elected to the presidency
(1956) and the first woman secretary (1950-54) of the Botanical Society
of America (BSA). Creighton's many contributions to the BSA and to botanical
education are often overshadowed by her most cited work, the first demonstration
of cytological and genetical crossing-over in Zea mays (McClintock
1931, Creighton and McClintock 1931, Coe and Kass 2005a). The investigation
was part of Creighton's dissertation research project (Creighton 1933) at
Cornell University (1929-1934), under the guidance of her collaborator,
Dr. Barbara McClintock, who had suggested the problem. Their study provided
additional confirmation of the chromosome theory of inheritance for which
Thomas Hunt Morgan would win a Nobel Prize in 1933.
While a graduate student in 1973, I was first introduced to Creighton
during the Thirteenth International Congress of Genetics in Berkeley, CA.
Years later, in the context of interviewing Creighton about her work with
McClintock, I experienced her outgoing and generous nature (Kass 1994, 1996).
In long, beautifully printed, hand-written letters, she carefully answered
my many questions about early investigations in maize cytogenetics, and
about students and faculty in Cornell's Departments of Botany and Plant
Breeding, including insights on policies and procedures for gaining academic
jobs and rank in the early 20th century (Kass 2001, Kass 2003, Kass et
al. 2005, Kass 2005). She also gave me her own cherished copies of
celebrated works by Lester W. Sharp (Fotheringham 1928) and Alan C. Fraser
(Emerson et al. 1935), members of her Ph.D. committee.
Creighton recalled that Margaret Clay Ferguson (1863-1951), her undergraduate
Professor of Cytology at Wellesley College, encouraged her to study at
Cornell University. Ferguson had received her B.S. (1899) and Ph.D. from
Cornell (Ferguson 1901), and was the first woman president of the BSA (1929).
Creighton returned to Wellesley as a member of their faculty, where she
enthusiastically continued Ferguson's commitment to the botanical sciences,
endeavored to expand her programs in botany, and encouraged the Department
and Trustees to name the Wellesley greenhouse complex in her honor (Creighton
Although she was pleased and proud to discuss McClintock's early contributions
to science, recognized much later by her 1983 Nobel Prize winning research,
Creighton denied that she had made much of a scientific contribution herself.
As early as 1938, Creighton is listed in American Men of Science
(Cattell and Cattell 1938:307).She was not starred, however, among the top
ranking 1,000 scientists in the United States, as were her mentors, Ferguson
(starred in Botany, 1910) and McClintock (starred in Botany, 1944) (Rossiter
1982:293). It was only after her death that I gained access to her
CV and Publications List, which were generouly provided by the Wellesley
College archives (WCA). Creighton's publications and early contributions
genetics may be found in issues of Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences (PNAS), Maize Genetics Cooperation News Letter,
Records of the Genetics Society of America, and citations to her
works appear in many books and journals, whose authors also acknowledge
her for sharing data.
Her major contributions to our field, however, are her behind-the-scenes
participation on many national science education committees for the BSA,
the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), and the National Science
Foundation's National Research Council (NSF/NRC) (Faculty File, WCA).
Much of her involvement on these committees has been described in the pages
of the Plant Science Bulletin (PSB1), of which
she was a founding member. Additionally, Creighton served on the PSB
editorial board (1955-1959), was acting editor (1956), and had graciously
accepted editorial responsibilities in May 1958, when founding editor Harry
J. Fuller took ill. She wrote articles encouraging innovation in teaching
(Creighton 1956, 1958), and in her retiring presidential address, she encouraged
her fellow botanists to be as proud as she was of their botanical roots,
and challenged them with the call "Botanists of the World, Unite! and Get
Going" (Creighton 1957).
Early Achievements, 1929-1940
The Cornell Years: Creighton was born in Delavan,
Illinois on June 29, 1909. At age 20 she graduated from Wellesley College
(A.B. 1929), and accepted an assistantship (1929-1932) in General Botany
with Loren C. Petry, Professor of Paleobotany in the Department of Botany,
College of Agriculture, at Cornell University. Creighton's mother accompanied
her to Ithaca, where Barbara McClintock took the young graduate student
under her wing (Figure 1). It was McClintock, Creighton told me, who suggested
that she pursue a Doctorate in Cytology with L.W. Sharp and to bypass the
Masters degree, which she had considered doing initially. McClintock, an
Instructor and Sharp's teaching assistant, introduced Creighton to Sharp
at his home, where he was recovering from a broken toe.
Creighton was familiar with Sharp's recently published textbook, Introduction
to Cytology (Sharp 1926), and expected to meet a stodgy grey-haired
professor. Instead, she was pleasantly surprised to find a young man with
a crew cut, who loved music and had a wonderful sense of humor. His hoax
of the woofen-poof bird, Eoörnis pterovelox gobiensis, published
the previous year under the pseudonym A. C. Fotheringham (1928), was the
talk of the department. She was present when Sharp read with disbelief
its review published in The Quarterly Review of Biology (Pearl 1930).
He truly believed that the reviewer had been taken-in, she recalled laughingly,
until he reached the end of the summary, where it was made clear that the
so called serious review was a spoof in itself.
Sharp was Vice-president of the BSA when Creighton arrived at Cornell
in 1929, and he was elected President the following year. L.H. Bailey,
Dean of the College of Agriculture, had been President in 1926, and Karl
M. Wiegand, Chair of the Department, would be elected President in 1938.
George F. Atkinson, first President of the BSA (1907), was a Cornellian,
and other Botany Department faculty members were affiliated and would become
officers of the Society (BSA 2005:234); most faculty members in the Plant
Breeding Department had also joined.
McClintock suggested Creighton's minor subject areas, Plant Physiology and
Genetics, and the Professors whom she should include on her committee, Otis
F. Curtis, a member of the Botany Department, and Alan C. Fraser, in the
Plant Breeding Department. In 1929, Creighton learned many new plant cytological
techniques from McClintock, and met Charles Burnham, a National Research
Council (NRC) Fellow who had arrived that summer at Cornell from Wisconsin
to work with Rollins A. Emerson, the head of the Plant Breeding Department.
They worked together in close quarters in Sharp's Cytology Laboratory in
Stone Hall, where Creighton shared a desk with future Nobel Laureate, George
W. Beadle (Creighton 1992, Burnham 1992, Kass and Bonneuil 2004).
Emerson and Beadle, his student, had initiated the Maize Genetics
Cooperation News Letter in April 1929 (Kass et al. 2005; Coe
and Kass 2005b), where students of maize genetics shared their unpublished
data. Cooperation among students was fostered in Sharp's laboratory and
encouraged by Emerson, who also established the Maize Genetics Cooperation
at Cornell (Kass et al. 2005). This cooperative spirit shaped Creighton's
view of joint efforts and ethical practice in science (Letter, Creighton
to Kass, 27 Feb. 1995; Kass 2001).
Emerson also encouraged faculty and graduate students in the Departments
of Botany and Plant Breeding to attend Synapsis Club meetings. Creighton
went regularly with her major professor and graduate student colleagues.
The club sponsored weekly dinners with speakers, held special social gatherings,
and organized a bowling league on which Creighton was a star performer
(Synapsis Club Records, Cornell University Archives). Creighton was quite
athletic. She played tennis regularly with her graduate student colleagues,
and was renowned for climbing the buildings at Cornell. When I asked her
about a story I had heard regarding McClintock climbing up the Plant Science
Building to get into her office when she had forgotten her key, Creighton
said emphatically that it was she who had climbed to the second floor of
the building, entered through the window, and unlocked the door. She added:
"That building was just meant to be climbed."
In their study of the cytological basis of crossing-over, Creighton used
a semisterile corn stock with a prominent knob at the tip of the short arm
of chromosome 9, and having a piece of chromosome 8 attached (a translocation).
Burnham had brought the stock with him from Wisconsin and generously shared
it with them (McClintock 1930, McClintock 1931, Creighton and McClintock
1931, Kass and Bonneuil 2004, Coe and Kass 2005a). McClintock had applied
Belling's chromosome squash technique to the anthers in this strain of corn,
and first clearly observed corn chromosomes at the pachytene stage (McClintock
1930, Kass 2003). Creighton took advantage of this new technique
and by April 1931, had limited data to support a claim for a correlation
of "genetical and cytological crossing over." Morgan, who had learned of
their results during a spring lecture tour at Cornell, encouraged them
to publish immediately (Coe and Kass 2005a, see also Keller 1983).
FIGURE 1. Barbara McClintock and Harriet Creighton at Cornell University,
June 1930 (reprinted with permission from Kass 2003, Genetics).
Creighton became Sharp's assistant in Cytology when McClintock left Cornell
to begin her NRC Fellowship at Missouri in June of 1931. They corresponded regularly
regarding their upcoming publications (McClintock 1931, Creighton and McClintock
1931), which were submitted by Emerson in July and published in the August PNAS
(Coe and Kass 2005a). Unfortunately, none of their letters about these critical
papers have been saved (Postcard, Creighton to Kass, 8 Dec. 1996), but Emerson's
correspondence is in the Cornell University Archives. Creighton granted permission
to reprint their article in a number of collected readings in Biology, and a
diagram from their paper was reproduced in many biology and genetics textbooks
(Coe and Kass 2005a; Faculty File, WCA).
At the 6th International Congress of Genetics, at Cornell in 1932, they collaboratively
presented evidence for 4-strand crossing over in corn (Creighton and McClintock
1932). Creighton continued to contribute unpublished data to the Maize Genetics
Cooperation News Letter, and published new findings on deficiencies on chromosome
9 of corn (Creighton 1934).
As a graduate student, Creighton was elected to the Women's Scientific
Fraternity, Sigma Delta Epsilon (Graduate Women in Science) in 1930.
Their motto was "United in Friendship through Science," and their goal
was to promote interest in science and to advance the participation and
recognition of women in science. The Alpha Chapter had been established
at Cornell in 1921, and Creighton later became an officer of the National
organization (Second Vice-president, 1948-49; First Vice-president 1949-50;
National President 1950) and also chaired their Research Awards Committee
(1968-1969). In 1931, she was elected to the Cornell Chapter of the honorary
scientific society, Sigma Xi, which had been founded at Cornell in
1886; and to Phi Kappa Phi, in 1932, whose mission is "To recognize
and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to
engage the community of scholars in service to others."
Creighton completed her thesis in 1933 (Creighton 1933) and remained in the
Botany Department at Cornell as an Instructor of cytology and microtechnique
(1932-1934), until accepting a job at Connecticut College for Women (CCW) in
1934 (Cattell 1944:383; Letter, Creighton to P. Davies, 6 May 1993).
CCW Botanist, 1934-1940: Creighton was an Instructor in Botany
at CCW from 1934 to 1938. She was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1938 (Barnhart
1965:394), on the basis of years of service both at Cornell and CCW. She explained
that the rules for promotion and tenure were different at that time (Letter,
Creighton to Kass 27 Feb. 1995), and I subsequently learned that not all academic
institutions followed AAUP guidelines for tenure and promotion, which were in
flux during this era (Kass 2003, Kass 2005).
With McClintock, she published (1935) a corroboration of their investigations
of cytological crossing over, and gave papers at meetings of the Genetics Society
of America (see their Records for abstracts of her papers). Creighton
worked collaboratively with G.S. Avery, P.R. Burkholder, and others at Connecticut
College, on a translation and revision of Peter Boysen-Jensen's (1883-1959)
Growth Hormones in Plants, which was expanded to include 188 new contributions
to the literature and 40 additional illustrations (Avery et al. 1936).
With Avery, Burkholder, and others at Connecticut College, she also conducted
a series of plant physiology experiments that were mainly published in the American
Journal of Botany (AJB ) between 1936 and 1941. Creighton
called these her ABC papers, because the 11 papers published with Avery, Burkholder,
and others had the authors' names listed in alphabetical order (at Avery's insistence,
Wellesley College, Associate Professor to Department Chair:
Creighton jumped at the chance to return to her alma mater as a member
of their faculty. In 1940, she was appointed Associate Professor of Botany
at Wellesley, elected a Fellow of the AAAS, and reviewed manuscripts for
the AJB. In addition to teaching, she continued to conduct research
on corn, and in 1941, she was invited to spend the summer at Cold Spring
Harbor with McClintock and other guest investigators who studied plant genetics
Soon after the U.S. entered World War II, Mildred McAfee, President of Wellesley
College, recruited Creighton for the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency
Service). According to Naval history (
http://www.history.navy.mil ), McAfee was sworn in as a Naval Reserve
Lieutenant Commander, the first female commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy
history, and the first Director of the WAVES, the women's branch of the Navy.
The Navy had accepted a large number of enlisted women and needed Commissioned
Officers to supervise them. The WAVES performed previously atypical duties such
as communications, intelligence, science and technology. Creighton was granted
a leave of absence for war service (1943-May 1946) and rose to the final rank
of Lieutenant Commander.
Creighton loved to travel. At the conclusion of the war, she and Gertrude
Dever, a friend she had met in the WAVES, embarked on a cross-country adventure
in an old multi-colored jalopy, making stops along the way in New Orleans
and Mexico (Wellesley Club News 2005). Upon returning to Wellesley, she
was appointed Chair of her Department. After recommending that the Wellesley
Greenhouses be named for Ferguson, she followed in the footsteps of her
mentor, and enthusiastically supported Wellesley's Arboretum, Botanic Gardens
and The Ferguson Greenhouses as "premier educational sites" and was committed
to maintaining them as such (Biographical File, WCA). In 1946, she initiated
Garden Day, where local garden clubs were invited to Wellesley to view the
greenhouse and gardens. This eventually led to the founding of the Wellesley
College Friends of Horticulture (WCFH) in 1982, whose members raised funds
for the renovation of the Ferguson Greenhouses, completed ten years later.
The Harriet B. Creighton Room at the Visitor Center of the Margaret C.
Ferguson Greenhouses was dedicated to honor her years of service to the Botany
Department and her ongoing support for the College's Botanic Gardens. It
was in this room where I first interviewed Creighton, and photographed her
outside of the building (Figures 2 & 3).
While carrying a full teaching load and guiding the department at Wellesley,
she also served as Secretary of the BSA Teaching Section (1948-1951), was a
member of the AAAS Council (1949-1951), and was elected Secretary of the BSA
in 1950. The latter office had previously been filled by Petry and A. J. Eames,
her former Cornell teachers, and Avery and Burkholder, former colleagues at
Connecticut College (BSA 2005:235).
She was promoted to Professor of Botany in 1952. That year she was a
Fulbright Lecturer in Genetics and Plant Physiology (with 4 months of research),
at the University of Western Australia, Perth, and at Adelaide University,
which fulfilled her desire for travel abroad. This experience was so rewarding
that seven years later she again went abroad as a Fulbright Lecturer in
Genetics (with 3 months for research) at the National University of Cuzco,
In 1955, Creighton was named the Ruby F.H. Farwell Professor of Botany,
in acknowledgement of her outstanding success at Wellesley. In that year
she was also elected Vice-president of the BSA, served on the PSB
editorial board (through 1959) and participated (through 1958) in an NSF
Panel for the selection of Predoctoral Fellows. She also served as a Member-at
Large for the 14th -16th (1955-1957) Symposium of the Society for Developmental
As BSA President, Creighton had the honor of presenting Certificates of Merit
to 50 distinguished scientists for their contributions to botany, at the 50th
anniversary Golden Jubilee Merit Citations award banquet, held on August 29,
1956, at the University of Connecticut, Storrs (PSB , Oct. 1956, pgs.1-2).
Among those first honored were George W. Beadle, her graduate school colleague;
Edgar Anderson, with whom she had cooperated at Cold Spring Harbor in the summer
of 1941; and nine BSA past Presidents, including Anderson, and Katherine Esau,
the second woman elected President of the society. At that time, the society
also announced its plan to present certificates to additional botanists in succeeding
The following year, at the BSA annual banquet, held at Stanford University,
Creighton's former mentor, Barbara McClintock, received a Certificate of Merit,
as a pioneer in the use of chromosomal aberrations for the purpose of genome
analysis, important contributions to the theory of gene structure, and "world
leader in the broad field of cytogenetics" (PSB, Jan. 1958, pp.5-6).
Creighton must have felt proud of McClintock, and the other plant geneticists
so honored that night, as she delivered the retiring past-President's address
(Creighton 1957). "If we would put together all the findings of all kinds of
botanist, we would be proud enough of the results that we would not be ashamed
of being called botanist," she assured her audience. Some investigators, she
emphasized, call themselves "pure botanists," while others work on applied problems,
"yet all study plants and are, therefore, botanists." But some, she noted, do
not want to be called a "botanist." She suggested that we use the word botany
and make clear that botany includes the study of all plants, and "call ourselves
botanists with some pride in our voices. ... We have to change the climate of
opinion concerning botany," she said. "We have to sell ourselves, and then the
educated and intelligent public, that we are students of plants and that plants
are important in the modern world. ... Botanists of the World, Unite!" she urged,
then added, "and Get Going!"
Professor Creighton's commitment to Botanical Education: "Creighton
was an amazing teacher," wrote one of her former students in a note appearing
in the WCFH Spring 2004 News, devoted to her memory. Clearly she was
dedicated to her profession, which is demonstrated by her leadership in the
BSA and her active participation on national committees for botanical education.
As a member of the Society's Education Committee, she supported their proposal
to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a Summer Institute for Botany teachers
from small colleges to be held at Cornell in 1956. NSF notified President Creighton
in December 1955, of the $31,400 Award for their first supported Summer Institute
for college teachers. Institute Director H.P. Banks (Cornell University), Past
President Ralph Wetmore (1953; Harvard University), and Creighton made the stipend
awards to 50 college teachers to acquaint them with current work in the field
(PSB, Oct. 1956, p.12).
FIGURE 2. Harriet Creighton outside the Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses,
Wellesley College, 1994 (Photograph by author).
Creighton continued serving on NSF Panels for Summer Institutes for College
and High School Teachers of Biology through 1959. She was one of the outstanding
lecturers who participated in the NSF-supported Summer Institute for College
Botany Teachers, sponsored by the BSA, and sustained at Indiana University
in 1959 (PSB, Dec. 1958, p. 3). Concurrently, she was a member of
the NSF Committee on Teaching Biology (1956-1957), and was invited to join
the AIBS Committee on Education and Professional Recruitment's Steering
Committee (1956-1966) for the Secondary School Film Series (PSB
, April 1959, pp. 1-3), in which she played a "teacher" in several individual
films (Faculty File, WCA). While editor of PSB, Creighton (1958)
encouraged writers and publishers of Botany and Biology text books to "experiment
with texts that are really a third arm of a course, the first two being
the teacher and the organisms studied in the field and laboratory."
Creighton was secretary (1960-1963) of Section G (Botanical Sciences)
of the AAAS, and concurrently chaired the BSA's Committee on Education for
two years (1960-1962). The Committee studied the Role of Botany in America,
and she helped to formulate their recommendations concerning High School
Biology Courses, Introductory Courses in Biology, and the "Facts and Principles
that should be taught" (PSB, March 1958, pp. 1-2). They sent an
open invitation to BSA members requesting that they prepare a series of articles
on botanical subjects, particularly for teachers of biology in secondary
schools and colleges, for publication in Turtox News. Chair Creighton
was responsible for editing all manuscripts contributed by members of the
society (PSB, May 1961, p 8).
As part of her responsibilities for the BSA Education Committee, Creighton
was a botanical consultant (1961-1969) to A. J. Nystrom and Co. (Chicago),
who produced 12 teaching charts (with transparencies for overhead projection)
and 8 models of plant structure, which she had designed (Faculty File,
WCA; PSB, Dec. 1963, p4). They anonymously published eight booklets
(prepared by Creighton between 1963 through 1968), each comparable to a
short chapter of a textbook, to accompany each of the botanical teaching
models (Faculty File, WCA).
Rossiter (1995:304) has documented the under-recognition of women scientists,
who in the 1950 and 1960s were "practically invisible to the public, to
other scientists, and to each other." Creighton's early scientific achievements
are well recorded; and her behind-the-scenes efforts towards academic and
public education were recognized by her peers, if one considers it an honor
to chair committees and to be elected a society officer. These contributions,
however, were probably mostly invisible to the public.
Research interests and further responsibilities: Along with her
teaching and committee responsibilities, Creighton pursued research on
the genetics of Petunia flowers, which she presented independently,
and with students, at the annual meetings of the Genetics Society of America
(GSA) in the 1940s. Later, she became interested in the horticultural aspects
of Begonia. Those studies were presented at the BSA, and published
in The Begonian during the 1960 and 1970s. To keep current in her
field, she spent a sabbatical year in the Botany Department at the University
of California, Berkeley (Sept.-Dec. 1966) and at the Cell Research Institute
of the University of Texas in Austin (Jan-June 1967).
In the early 1960s, she was President of the Wellesley Chapter of the
Society of Sigma Xi. She regularly attended annual meetings of the
BSA and the GSA, and when possible, drove to Long Island, NY, for the Cold
Spring Harbor Symposium. She traveled to India as a consultant for NSF (1968,
1969) and also accepted committee assignments from the GSA. While an editorial
board member (1969-1975) of the Journal of College Science Teaching
, she reviewed more than 30 manuscripts beginning with Volume 1. Additionally,
she refereed book manuscripts and journal articles, and published many book
A year before retirement, she joined the Historical Section of the BSA
(1973) and was its representative to the Executive Committee. In keeping
with her principles, she also offered a class on Basic Botany and Horticulture
for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and gave a National Science
Teachers Association workshop for high school teachers on the use of plants
for experiments in their classes. Her energy seemed boundless.
The Retirement Years 1974-2004, and beyond
Honors and Recognition: Creighton kept busy after her 1974 retirement
as Ruby F.H. Farwell Professor Emerita. Possessing exceptional institutional
memory, she was consulted on all aspects of Wellesley College life; wrote
the chapter on "The Grounds" for the centennial volume Wellesley College
1875-1975, A Century of Women; and as a member of the Wellesley Campus
Master Plan Committee (1998), recalled each transformation made since her
first day on campus in 1925 (Biographical Files, WCA). The Massachusetts
Horticultural Society honored her with the Large Gold Medal of their society
in 1985, for her botanical expertise and "horticultural concern in the
community." Public recognition had been achieved at last. In 1994, The
Wellesley College Alumnae Association recognized her with the Syrina Stackpole
Award for "dedicated service and exceptional commitment to Wellesley College."
Posthumous honors: Creighton died at age 94, on January 9, 2004
(The Wellesley Townsman, 22 Jan. 2004, p. 34). That year, the Wellesley
College Botanical Greenhouse Fund, established by Creighton in 1955 with
an initial modest gift, was renamed the Harriet Creighton Greenhouse Fund
for continued support of the Margaret Clay Ferguson Greenhouses.
Creighton lived a long, happy, and successful life. Her legacy of
contributions to Botany in the 20th century has persisted and sustained the
broad field of Plant Biology. Let us dedicate this issue of the Plant
Science Bulletin in honor of Harriet Baldwin Creighton to celebrate
with pride the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the publication she co-founded
50 years ago.
FIGURE 3. Harriet Creighton and Lee Kass, Wellesley College, 1994 (Photograph
by Beverly Rathcke).
I thank the staff of the Wellesley College Archives and the L.H. Bailey
Hortorium Library for providing valuable resources for this study; W.B.
Provine and C. Uhl for use of their libraries; Shawn Krosnick for sharing
files on M.C. Ferguson; Faculty and Staff of the Department of Plant Biology,
Cornell University, for logistical support, especially Sherry Vance for
preparing the images; I am grateful to E.H. Coe, R.E. Dirig, R.E. Hunt,
R.P. Murphy C. Uhl and R. Whalen, for helpful suggestions on revising the
manuscript; and special appreciation to BSA Past President Judy Jernstedt
for suggesting the topic.
- Lee Kass
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(1883-1959) Growth Hormones in Plants. McGraw-Hill Book Company,
Inc, New York.
Coe, E. and L.B. Kass. 2005a. Proof of physical exchange of genes on
the chromosomes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102(19): 6641-6656.
_____ and _____. 2005b. Maize Genetics Cooperation News Letter Files:
Expanded chronological list of materials and related cooperation. Maize
Genetics Cooperation Newsletter 79: 72-76.
Creighton, H.B. 1933. A cytogenetic study of crossing-over in Zea mays.
Ph.D. Thesis. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
_____. 1934. Three cases of deficiency in Chromosome 9 of Zea mays.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 20:111-115.
_____. 1947. The Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses. Wellesley Alumni
Magazine Vol. XXI. Feb. 1947.
_____. 1956. Future text book writers please note. Plant Science
_____. 1957. Botanists of the world unite — and Get Going. Plant
Science Bulletin 3(3):1-4.
_____. 1958. One teacher's questions about General Biology and General
Botany textbooks. Plant Science Bulletin. 4(4):1-3.
_____. 1992. Recollections of Barbara McClintock's Cornell Years, pp.
14-18 in N. Fedoroff and D. Botstein (eds.) The Dynamic Genome: Barbara
McClintock's Ideas in the Century of Genetics Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Press, Plainview, NY.
_____ and B. McClintock. 1931. A correlation of cytological and genetical
crossing-over in Zea mays. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 17:483-491.
_____ and _____. 1932. Cytological Evidence for 4-strand crossing over
in Zea mays. Proc. VI International Congress of Genetics
Vol. II: 392.
_____ and _____. 1935. A corroboration of cytological and genetical crossing-over
in Zea mays. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 21:148-150.
Emerson, R.A., G.W. Beadle, and A.C. Fraser. 1935. A summary of linkage
studies in maize. Cornell Univ. Agric. Exp. Station Memoir 180:1-83.
Fotheringham, A.C. [L.W. Sharp and Cuthbert V. Fraser]. 1928. Eoörnis
pterovelox gobiensis. The Buighleigh Press, London.
Ferguson, M.C. 1901. On the development of the pollen tube and the
division of the generative nucleus in certain species of pine. Ph.D.
Thesis, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (reprinted from Annals of
Botany, Vol. XV no. LVIII, June 1901).
Kass, L.B. 1994. Interview with Harriet B. Creighton at Wellesley College,
23 August 1994.
_____. 1997. Tape-recorded interview with Harriet B. Creighton at Wellesley
College, 17 August 1996.
_____. 2001. Ethics in science: preparing students for their career.
Plant Science Bulletin 47(2, Summer):42-48.
_____. 2003. Records and recollections: A new look at Barbara McClintock,
Nobel Prize-Winning geneticist. Genetics 164(August):1251-1260.
_____. 2005. Missouri compromise: tenure or freedom. New evidence clarifies
why Barbara McClintock left academe. Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter 79:52-71.
_____. and C. Bonneuil. 2004. Mapping and seeing: Barbara McClintock
and the linking of genetics and cytology in maize genetics, 1928-1935.
Chap. 5, pp. 91-118, In Hans-Jörg Rheinberger and Jean-Paul Gaudilliere
(eds.), Classical Genetic Research and its Legacy: The Mapping Cultures
of 20th Century Genetics. London: Routledge.
_____, _____ and E.H. Coe. 2005. Cornfests, cornfabs and cooperation:
The origins and beginnings of the Maize Genetics Cooperation News Letter.
Genetics 169 (April): 1787-1797.
Keller, E.F. 1983. A Feeling for the Organism. The Life and Work
of Barbara McClintock. W. H. Freeman and Co. San Francisco, CA.
McClintock, B. 1930. A cytological demonstration of the location of an
interchange between two non-homologous chromosomes of Zea mays.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 16:791-796.
_____. 1931. The order of the genes C, Sh, and Wx in Zea mays
with reference to a cytologically known point in the chromosome. Proc.
Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 17:485-491.
Pearl, R. 1930. Review of Eoörnis pterovelox gobiensis. Quarterly
Review of Biology 5:112-113.
Rossiter, M.W. 1982. Women Scientists in America: Struggles and Strategies
to 1940. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.
_____. 1995. Women Scientists in America: Before Affirmative Action
1940-1972. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.
Sharp, L.W. 1926. Introduction to Cytology, 2nd edition. McGraw-Hill
Book Co, Inc. New York.
Wellesley College Archives (WCA). 2005. H.B. Creighton, Biographical
Files and Faculty File. Wellesley MA 02101.
Wellesley Club News. 2005. The College Club gets a gift of a lift.
Wellesley College Club News. Summer 2005. Wellesley College, Wellesley,
accessed 5 October 2005.
Lee B. Kass is Visiting Professor in the L. H. Bailey Hortorium, Department
of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY,
where she is preparing an intellectual biography of Barbara McClintock.
She is Chair of the Historical Section of the BSA, and a member of the
Centennial Committee. The second edition of her Illustrated Guide to
Common Plants of San Salvador Island, Bahamas has recently been published
by the Gerace Research Center, San Salvador Island, Bahamas.
1Full citations listed only for feature articles published
in the Plant Science Bulletin; announcements found therein are cited within
News from the Society
From the Annual Meeting
The Power of Plants: Building Collaborations
among Educational Institutions, Botanical Gardens and Communities.
(Banquet speech given by Ed Schneider, President-elect, at the 99th meeting
of the Botanical Society of America, August 17, 2005, Austin, TX).
The theme for the 99th meeting of the Botanical Society of America "Learning
From Plants" inspired the title of my presentation. The "Power of Plants"
presents several interwoven themes: career development from student to
faculty member; tribute to those who fostered and inspired us through our
professional growth; and an action plan for the future of the Botanical
Society of America and the value added benefits of expanding partnerships
and collaborations among agencies and organizations that have at the core
of their missions improved understanding and promotion of plants. These
interwoven themes have a common overarching theme, the power of plants, since
plants have inspired and influenced the course of our careers and all aspects
of human activity.
As students, we may recall those moments when we first developed an interest
in the botanical world. For me, it began when I was an undergraduate and
asked by a faculty member to consider becoming a teaching assistant for
a course in introductory botany. That was the hook. Graduate school soon
followed with thesis work on the amazing Amazon water lily, Victoria.
Who could not be inspired by those remarkably large, 6'- 8' diameter leaves.
I recall clearly the hot day in early August in Tempe, AZ (1974) when
I attended my first Botanical Society of America annual meeting to make
a scientific presentation on findings about that remarkable plant. Then
began the quest to secure the first faculty position, followed by the journey
toward tenure, promotion, and assuming the same leadership role in fostering
students as faculty members had done for me years earlier.
During my career I felt a particular motivation to study hydrophytes,
especially waterlilies. Adaptations to the aquatic life are fascinating.
The molecular investigations leading to added confirmation of the long held
hypothesis that waterlilies are among the basal-most flowering plants also
helped to secure funding and a widening interest in the Nymphaeaceae.
As botanists, we understand the importance of plants for their life sustaining
photosynthetic process. Within our classrooms and laboratories we emphasize
to hundreds of thousands of students each year, the oxygen generation role
of autotrophs, and the carbohydrate (food) production that sustains life
through food chains. We marvel at the fact that 74% of the human population
is sustained by less than ten crop species. The role of plants in providing
fuels, shelter, medicines and drugs, and a vast variety of products used
each day in our lives makes me pause and ask _ while students may find this
intriguing and understandable, can we do more to excite and involve a larger
audience that will stand and with a unified voice, pronounce that plants
are important, they need more study, and work in concert to raise the conscientiousness
of all to the importance of plants.
It is not surprising that gardening is the number one past time in the
United States. Aside from the therapeutic benefits, we bask in the beauty
of plants, marvel at their form and growth as we harvest homegrown fruits
and vegetables. Eco-tourism has also become popular over the past decade
or two, and understandably, since natural landscapes offer immense beauty
In contrast to the natural landscape, the built landscape such as found in
botanical gardens offers a means, through inspiring, aesthetically developed
displays, conservation, research, and a broad spectrum of educational programming,
to an end _ to promote an enhanced understanding of the botanical world
and the importance of plants. Botanic gardens like other cultural organizations
in our communities are places that enrich lives; they are places of inspiration,
places to refresh the soul, places of beauty and tranquility, and places
to commune with and better understand our place in nature. This enrichment
process educates the visitor's mind, wins their hearts, and in doing so
leads to deeper levels of involvement, higher levels of ownership, and ultimately,
to improved philanthropy. If this process is cultivated well, the 200 million
visitors to U.S. botanic gardens each year represent more informed voters
about our environment and the importance of plants. Just as the Botanical
Society of America (BSA) has fostered interactions with educational organizations,
so, too, should BSA foster partnerships and collaboration with botanical
gardens. The advantages are clear, the linkage is natural. This is why
BSA selected the Missouri Botanic Garden as a partner and host. Botanic
gardens, like educational organizations, have at their core many similar
and overlapping programs. Botanic gardens are institutions that offer more
than just inspiring displays. They hold vast collections of living plants.
It is estimated that over 6 million living plants are held in the accessioned
collections of botanical gardens world-wide. These in situ and
ex situ collections offer rich collections for taxonomic and systematic
research conducted by faculty and students. Botanical gardens also hold enormous
herbaria collections, estimated to be over 50 million sheets, not to mention
outstanding botanical and horticultural library collections.
Another plant focused non-profit that is housed in partnership and collaboration
with the Missouri Botanic Garden, which BSA could build a partnership with
is The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC). The mission of CPC is to develop
a coordinated response for both ex situ and in situ conservation
of the American flora. Through a consortium of over 30 selected botanical
gardens, CPC maintains a National Collection of the most rare and endangered
plant species (610 species). CPC also has developed an Access database
with information on over 8,000 species and tracks accessions of over 13
million seed. The charter of CPC is also to: strengthen relationships and
scientific standards between all agencies involved in plant conservation
and research; integrate c onservation efforts without duplication; and to
offer public education and public relations programs to inform both the
scientific community and the general public. The increasing number of
contributed papers and abstracts presented each year at the annual BSA conference
that have conservation related themes is exciting. It may well be time
to establish a Conservation Section or offer thematically related papers
to be group into common sessions. Conservation is a cornerstone to most
botanical garden programming. Over 1 billion seeds have been banked in
gardens and of the 400,000 different species of plants, of which over 75,000
species are under threat - botanic gardens provide safe haven for over
10,000 of the world's most threatened plants. Botanic gardens have the
expertise to propagate and save rare species and are currently building
capacity to assess genetic variation in threatened populations. It is clear,
therefore, that continued collaboration and partnerships must be established
and strengthened among BSA, botanical gardens, and CPC, and that through
these partnerships all stakeholders become unified in their collective voices.
So, what can we do to strengthen the future of the Botanical Society
of America and its important mission? I offer the following action items:
build more partnerships and collaborations - and through our partnerships,
increase our voting constituencies if we wish to influence public attitudes
toward the environment and the botanical world; share what we know and
our discoveries more rapidly in digital format to make information more
accessible; tell our stories and articulate our positions widely to the
public and to policymakers, and grow in technical excellence, financial
capacity, and staff capacity in the home office. To varying degrees each
of these actions has begun, but much work lies ahead. Although there is
considerable work to be undertaken, we must take pause to have fun on this
journey because plants are an enjoyment. Remember, be an active advocate
for plants and the botanical world, be active in the Botanical Society of
America, and foster a growing relationship with your local botanical garden
and plant related organizations.
Educational Forum Keynote
Is it cool to know and do science? Can we create a Scientific Temper?
Linking Scientists, College Faculty, K-12 Teachers and their Students in Collaborative
The National Academies, Teacher Advisory Council, Center for Education
Barbara Shulz is currently a Teacher Leader with the National Academy
in the Center for Education. She taught AP Biology and other science courses
in public and private schools for 35 years and is an active leader in science
education innovation. She has extensive experience linking scientists with
K-12 educators and developing authentic research opportunities for students
Ms. Schulz enumerated several challenges facing science and science education
including the need to increase inquiry science in K-12 classrooms, to connect
teachers with research and the scientists who conduct research, to increase
the number of students who will pursue careers in science, to increase student
motivation to learn, and finally, to help scientists share their research
with the public. She proposed that a shortage of science, mathematics and
engineering graduates is developing and could become a serious problem.
The number of United States students pursuing a career in science is decreasing,
while the demand for science and math graduates is increasing. Currently
46% of our science, mathematics and engineering students are from other countries.
Student interest in science starts decreasing in 7th grade,
and low percentages of students pursue careers in science, mathematics and
engineering. Clearly science teaching, as currently practiced in most schools
in the United States, is not encouraging students to pursue careers in science.
Ideas about how science would be best taught have been considered for
some time. The Committee of 10 in 1897 proposed that science classes should
not focus on memorization, but on acquisition of knowledge and intellectual
growth based on observation of nature, and that 60% of the class should
be used for the lab component (National Education Association 1903). Recently
published National Science Education Standards (National Research Council,
1996) stressed that science is an active process with inquiry into student-generated
questions at its center. The report asserts that supplementing this approach
with teaching and assessment strategies that develop a well-grounded understanding
of science will encourage students to continue investigating scientific
issues and become lifelong members of the scientific community.
The ways we teach science can also be informed by recent advances in
cognitive research. In 2005, the National Research Council published a
summary of current research and stressed that effective teaching needs to
start with what students think they already know. The report also stated
that teachers need to be at the forefront of deciding what is taught, why
it is taught, and what successful mastery of the topics looks like. Students
need to be encouraged to understand how they are learning and develop metacognitive
skills. To reach these goals requires an increase in inquiry science, which
means that teachers need to be comfortable with doing science and teaching
their students how to do science. A 2000 survey of biology teachers indicated
that teachers are not prepared to engage students in the practice of science
in any substantial way (Horizon Research, Inc., 2002).
Once teachers and scientists understand that they have common or mutually
beneficial goals, possibilities for collaboration become obvious. In fact,
there are many similarities between scientists and teachers. Both are passionate
about their work, and love analytical thinking. They both suffer from
public distrust to some degree yet depend on public funding to continue
their work. However, while scientists and academics tend to be critical,
K-12 teachers are more likely to take a nurturing approach toward students.
Scientists benefit from flexible schedules, have relatively high levels
of resources in comparison to K-12 schools, and are judged on their own
work. K-12 teachers are faced with rigid schedules, have few resources,
and are judged not by their own work, but by their students' achievements.
Comparing scientists and teachers as expert learners with students who are
novice learners is also informative. Most scientists and teachers are
unfamiliar with computer games and may have limited computer skills. Students
on the other hand, are well-versed in the use of computers and adapt readily
to new technology. Students need to develop a base of knowledge, develop
analytical skills, and the ability to learn in depth. They need to help
developing a structure for, or ways to organize, new knowledge. Connecting
scientists, teachers, and students via the internet may be a very productive
approach to engage students in doing science and create a collaborative
community involving students, teachers, and scientists.
A new initiative of the Botanical Society is the Scientific Inquiry through
project. This web-based inquiry science project links scientists, teachers,
and students from around the country. Teachers design their own inquiry-based
curriculum using the theme "The Wonder of Seeds". As students develop research
questions, hypotheses, and experimental designs, they post them to the internet.
Each team of students is mentored, via the internet, by a scientist. A pilot
of this innovative project was completed in the Spring of 2005 with very encouraging
results. Students from middle school to college appreciated that experts would
spend time helping with their projects. Teachers felt that students were more
motivated. The enthusiasm of novice learners was infectious for both teachers
Ms. Shulz concluded that programs such as Sip3 can meet the need
for inquiry learning in science classrooms. While students may not be strongly
interested in science, we can take advantage of their inclination to use
the internet to engage them in the process of doing science. Furthermore,
teachers who have weak botanical backgrounds, are encouraged to incorporate
plant-based activities in their classrooms, knowing that there are experts
who will mentor the student projects. Students who are doing science and
have access to experts, are much more likely to continue on in the sciences
which will help meet critical needs for scientists in the future. As the
Sip3 project develops additional components, scientists will have a venue
to communicate their love of science with the students, including their
own research topics. In this situation, everyone can win.
-summary contributed by Beverley Brown
Horizon Research, Inc., 2002. National survey of science and mathematics
education. Available at www.horizon-research.com
National Education Association. 1903. Report of the Committee on
Secondary School Studies.
National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards,
National Academies Press, Washington, D.C. Available on-line at
Donovan, M.S. and J.D. Branford, eds. 2005. How students learn.
History, mathematics and science in the classroom. National Academies
Press, Washington, D.C. Available on-line at
Summary of Scientific Meeting Keynote speaker:
Dr. José Sarukhán, Professor, Instituto de Ecología. National
Autonomous University of Mexico
Returning biodiversity knowledge and information to society: the case
Issues of biodiversity are not readily understood outside scientific circles
and the public has not strongly grasped the importance of preserving significant
areas of biodiversity. Dr. Sarukhán discussed a well-established
program in Mexico that makes information on biodiversity available to the
public (CONABIO: www.conabio.gob.mx). This
information can be used by scientists, policy makers, and members of the
general public. Developing databases of herbarium specimens and augmenting
collections so that they are representative of the flora and fauna in a
given area is imperative if this information is to be useful for both scientists
and the public. Easy access to information raises the possibility of linking
research to societal needs, rather than reserving access to information
for only a few botanists. There are many projects which are now possible
and in fact, proving very useful to decision makers in Mexico using the
information and analysis tools available through CONABIO. Human health
programs are using insect data to model insect distribution and target areas
that are high risk for specific insect-transmitted diseases. The data base
has been used to determine where commercially-grown genetically engineered
cotton could be introduced, making sure that introductions were well away
from naturally occurring Gossypium populations. CONABIO is also
used to track and report forest fires and is current within 12 hours which
increases the efficiency of fire fighting efforts. The database has been
used to draft legislation and study invasive species.
Since public funds are often the primary source of funding for herbaria
and scientific work research in general, there is an obligation on the part
of scientists to make this information available for use beyond botanists
conducting research. We need to continue to make herbaria specimens available
on-line. In the last 6 years there has been a 25% growth in the number
of specimens in herbaria, but only 5% of the specimens are electronically
catalogued. There is a need to continue developing access to information
in Mexico, as well as sharing information between Mexico and the United
States. We face the challenge of educating the public with regard to the
importance of biodiversity. If we can educate the public, we will not
face the challenge of educating decision makers alone. Once the public
is informed and truly understand the situation, they will work to inform
-summary contributed by Beverley Brown
Dear Botanical Society of America Members and Plant
Science Bulletin Readers
On behalf of the Botanical Society of America, and the BSA staff, I'd like
to wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season. We've enjoyed serving
you throughout a busy and productive 2005.
As a staff team, we are extremely excited to be celebrating the Botanical Society
of America's first 100 years. Celebrations will culminate at the Botany 2006
Conference in Chico, California. Please mark Botany 2006, July 28-August 3,
in your calendar. We look forward to seeing you all in Chico (make sure you
sign up for the centennial BSA banquet). "Looking to the Future - Conserving
the Past" will be a memorable conference and botanical gathering -
a once in a lifetime event. The Society will bring together, and honor, long-time
members and some of the most notable contributions to the plant sciences over
the past half-century. Follow developments at www.botany.org
BSA members, we will also keep you current through the monthly e-newsletter.
For us to keep in touch please check and, if need be, update your email
address (and other details) on the BSA database at
www.botany.org. Let us know if we can assist you in bringing your
details up-to-date. If you do not receive the monthly email newsletter,
please check with your systems operator and make sure it is not getting
thrown out as spam. You can also find a full list of BSA news and announcements
BSA members who have yet to renew their 2006 membership, please go to
and renew online, or complete and send in the renewal form we mailed out
in the fall.
Plant Science Bulletin readers who wish to become BSA members, please
go to www.botany.org
. We'd be pleased to have you join us.
Again, have a great holiday season!
Sincerely, Bill Dahl
Botanical Society of America's Statement on Evolution
The Botanical Society of America exists to promote botany, the field
of basic science dealing with the study and inquiry into the form, function,
diversity, reproduction, evolution, and uses of plants and their interactions
within the biosphere. Our membership largely consist of professional scientists,
scholars, and educators from across the United States and Canada, and from
over 50 other countries. Most of us call ourselves botanists, plant biologists,
or plant scientists, and members of our profession teach and learn about
botanical organisms using well established principles and practices of
science. As such, we were asked by the National Center for Science Education
(NCSE) if we could provide a statement outlining our view on evolution.
On July 27,2003 at the 2003 Annual General Meeting the BSA Council approved
the statement to follow for use by the NCSE. For the Complete statement
see the Botanical Society website:
Intelligent Design: It's Not Even Wrong
By Congressman (and Physicist) Rush Holt
As a research scientist and a member of the House Education Committee, I was
appalled when President Bush signaled his support for the teaching of "intelligent
design" alongside evolution in public K-12 science classes. Though I respect
and consistently protect the rights of persons of faith and the curricula of
religious schools, public school science classes are not the place to teach
concepts that cannot be backed up by evidence and tested experimentally. For
complete blog see
The Centennial Meeting of BSA will be held at Chico State University,
California, 28 July -3 August 2006. Hopefully, you already are making plans
to attend this important, once-in-a-century meeting. BSA has selected the
design for its Centennial Medallion, and the Centennial Planning Committee
(CPC) thought you might enjoy seeing it.
The plan is for each registrant at the 2006 meeting to receive a medallion.
Also, a limited number of additional medallions will be made, and they
can be ordered for a yet-to-be-determined price. The medallion will be
a reminder of an important milestone in the history of BSA, but if you receive
yours at the Centennial Meeting it will be extra special.
A published history dealing with the one-hundred years of the society
will be available also. This history is being written by Betty Smocovitis
who is using BSA archival materials, once stored at the University of Texas
at Austin Library, and now at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. She is also
utilizing materials provided by a number of society members.
The Centennial Meeting program is being jointly developed by the CPC,
the Program Director, and the Business Office staff. As in past meetings,
the program will include the array of six major symposia, contributed paper
and poster sessions, associated society gatherings and dinners, special events,
and concluding with the annual BSA banquet. The CPC will be inviting representatives
from other affiliated and plant-science societies to join in the celebration.
It is hoped that all active and retired members of the society will want
to join this historic event. More details will come in future PSB issues.
Sincerely, Centennial Planning Committee
Marsh Sundberg's assessment of the content of botany and biology courses is
very timely as the botanists in the Department of Biological Sciences of the
UW Colleges (Wisconsin's 13 freshman/sophomore liberal arts transfer campuses)
are engaged in re-examining our curriculum. Our work is motivated at least in
part by the unrelenting attack on evolutionary theory by Creationists, Intelligent
Designers, and even the President of the United States. (One has to wonder how
the folks at Yale feel about the latter!)
Sundberg's efforts will be useful to us, but the BSA membership needs
to pick up where he leaves off. Indeed, Marsh calls for just such action
at the end of his article.
I continually wonder where students will learn about the organisms of
the natural world if not in our introductory courses. Contemporary students
by and large are much less likely to have grown up turning over rocks and
building forts in the woods than those of us who have been teaching for
20-30 years. Students know less from the simple childhood observations
than we did.
I compare my 1966 freshman botany book (Wilson and Loomis, Botany
) with Raven, Evert and Eichhorn's Biology of Plants and marvel how
our knowledge has exploded. My freshman semester was 16 weeks long; each
class and lab was filled with work to do. So how do we include not only
classical botany, but in-depth treatment of evolution and biotechnology
as well, without rushing through with such swiftness that it is nothing
more than a cursory glance?
Marsh alludes to the big issue, but it is lost in his final sentence
about content. We need to focus not so much on the content, but the
manner in which we teach our courses. There are many faculty who are providing
students with a much different learning experience than that which Marsh
and I experienced, even if the "content" is the same. A sharing of and
focus on pedagogy that works, as shown by empirical assessment measures,
will be at least as informative as thinking about what topics are covered
in any course.
James W. Perry
Professor of Biology
University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley
Karla Meza Awarded Timothy Plowman Scholarship
The Botany Department at the Field Museum recently (June-August 2005)
hosted this year's Timothy Plowman Scholarship Award recipient, Karla
Meza, from the Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía Peruana,
Iquitos, Peru. Karla studies the Heliconiaceae (or Banana Family) and used
her time to examine the extensive herbarium material from the neotropics
housed at F. In addition to basic measurements and observations, she made
numerous determinations of our unidentified collections and added our holdings
in to her database. These data will eventually be part of a monographic
style treatment of the genus Heliconia for the Peruvian Amazon.
Symposia, Conferences, Meetings
2nd Meeting of the International Society for Phylogenetic
Yale University, New Haven
June 29 _ July 2, 2006
We are pleased to announce the 2nd Meeting of the International Society
for Phylogenetic Nomenclature (ISPN).
The meeting and associated social gatherings will be held on Yale University's
beautiful campus in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. Accommodations are being
organized both on and off campus.
This meeting will follow the format of the 1st and founding meeting of the
ISPN that was held in Paris, France in 2004 by providing opportunities for
formal oral and poster presentations while leaving ample time for discussions.
The annual business meeting of the ISPN will also be held during this conference.
Conference Language: English
Nico Cellinese, Co-Chair, Yale University
Walter Joyce, Co-Chair, Program Officer, Yale University
Michael Donoghue, Co-Host, Yale University
Jacques Gauthier, Co-Host, Yale University
David Baum, University of Wisconsin
Philip Cantino, Ohio University
Michel Laurin, CNRS, Paris
Kevin de Queiroz, Smithsonian Institution
Instructions on how to register will be provided in the second circular.
Important Dates and Deadlines:
Abstract submission deadline: April 1, 2006
Advance registration: May 1, 2006
Nico Cellinese (Logistics and general information)
Walter Joyce (Program)
Yale Peabody Museum
170 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, Connecticut, 06511 USA
Timothy C. Plowman Latin American Research Award
The Botany Department at The Field Museum invites applications for the
year 2006 Timothy C. Plowman Latin American Research Award
. The award of $2,000.00 is designed to assist students and young professionals
to visit the Field Museum and use our extensive economic botany and systematic
collections. Individuals from Latin America and projects in the field of
ethnobotany or systematics of economically important plant groups will be
given priority consideration. Applicants interested in the award
should submit their curriculum vitae and a detailed letter describing the
project for which the award is sought. The information should be forwarded
to the Timothy C. Plowman Award Committee, Department of Botany, The Field
Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496 USA and received
no later than 15 December 2005. Announcement of the recipient will be made
no later than 31 December 2005.
Anyone wishing to contribute to The Timothy C. Plowman Latin American
Research Fund, which supports this award, may send their checks,
payable to The Field Museum, c/o Department of Botany, The Field Museum,
1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496 USA. Make certain to
indicate the intended fund.
Premio de investigación Latinoamericano Timothy C. Plowman
El departamento de Botánica en "The Field Museum" invita aplicaciones
para el premio de investigación Latinoamericano Timothy C. Plowman
2006. Este premio de $2,000.00 fue diseñado para apoyar a estudiantes
y profesionales jóvenes en visitas al museo de Field y utilizar sus extensas
colecciones de botánica económica y sistemática. Se les
dará consideración especial a individuos de Latinoamérica
y a proyectos en los campos de etnobotánica ó sistemática
de plantas económicamente importantes.
Las personas interesadas en aplicar a este premio deberán proveer
su curriculum vitae y una carta detallando el proyecto para el cual el premio
se utilizará. Esta información debe ser enviada al Timothy
C. Plowman Award Committee, Department of Botany, The Field Museum, 1400
South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496 USA y ser recibida antes
del 15 de Diciembre de 2005. El ganador del premio será anunciado
antes del 31 de Diciembre de 2005.
Cualquier persona que desee contribuir al Fondo de investigación
latinoamericano Timothy C. Plowman, el cual apoya este premio, puede
enviar su cheque, pagadero a "The Field Museum, c/o Department of Botany,
The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496 USA".
Asegúrese de indicar el fondo al cual se destina su contribución.
NATIONAL TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN FELLOWSHIP for
Program Operation: June 12-23, 2006
Deadline to Apply: March 24, 2006
Notification of Acceptance:March 31, 2006
The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) will host another exciting Fellowship
for College Professors of introductory biology from June 12-23, 2006 at The
Kampong, Coconut Grove, Florida. College professors accepted to the Fellowship
will become Fellows at the National Tropical Botanical Garden.
The goal of the NTBG Fellowship is to improve the quality of teaching
in introductory biology classes at the undergraduate level. Facilitated
by Professor P. Barry Tomlinson of Harvard University and Dr. Paul Alan
Cox, CEO/Director of the Institute for Ethnomedicine, the course is designed
to show instructors how to use examples from tropical plants in discussing
issues of form and function, evolution, and conservation. Fellows will
develop teaching modules to be shared and implemented in the introductory
biology classroom. Basically, we are looking for the very best biology faculty,
those who can fire the imagination of major and non-major biology students.
Although botanists will be considered, we also welcome applications from
faculty who lack previous botanical experiences as well as those who have
not previously worked in the tropics. The Fellowship will be limited to
Applications must include:
· Two letters
· Complete Curriculum Vitae
· Copy of the most recent teacher evaluation
· A non-refundable
$USD30 application fee in the form of a check or money order
made payable to the National Tropical Botanical Garden.
The Fellowship will cover the most economical roundtrip airfare to The
Kampong, Florida, accommodation and meals, tuition and fees, texts, equipment,
and ground transportation
Requests about the NTBG Fellowship must be directed to:
Director of Education
National Tropical Botanical Garden
3530 Papalina Road
Kalaheo, HI 96741
Tel: (808) 332-7324 ext. 225 or 251
Fax: (808) 332-9765
Biology S-105 "Biodiversity of tropical plants."
The National Tropical Botanical Garden in collaboration with the Harvard
Summer School and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Instructor: P. Barry Tomlinson, Professor of Biology Emeritus
, Harvard University and Crum Professor of Tropical Botany, National Tropical
Time: June 26 - July 21, 2006.
The Kampong, National Tropical Botanical Garden, 4013 Douglas Road, Coconut
Grove, Miami, Florida 33133
At the Kampong the class will use the living accommodation provided in
an air-conditioned dormitory-type facility (Scarborough House) and the
newly -constructed teaching laboratory. This is supplemented by the teaching
facility at the Center for Plant Conservation of Fairchild Garden.
Preferred Introductory Botany at the undergraduate college level.
To be based on the prior experience of the student and the suitability of
the course for graduate advancement. As in previous years the course will
cater for students with broad interests who seek to become more familiar
with tropical plants.
The course is directed toward students already enrolled or about to be enrolled
in a graduate program and will introduce the diversity of tropical plant
types within a biological and systematic framework. Study will be based
on the living collections of the Kampong, supplemented by those at other
South Florida institutions (e.g., Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden and
the Montgomery Botanical Center, Coral Gables, FL) and on plants in natural
environments (e.g., Biscayne Bay and the Everglades National park). This
is a teaching resource of some 10,000 species representing all tropical
The work involves classroom and laboratory demonstration combined with
outdoor presentations and excursions. The final week of the course requires
each student to prepare an individual research project leading to a written
and graded report.
The course is designed to develop a comparative approach to the study
of plants that will broaden general understanding of their structure and
Enrollment: Limited to 12
Estimated tuition: ~$2,300
Application: Students will be regularly enrolled in the 2006 Harvard
summer School program, Selection is based on a Supplementary Application
Form. Application materials will be available at
in early 2006.
Further information and enquiries from Professor Tomlinson (
East Tennessee State University
The Department of Biological Sciences at East Tennessee State University
invites applications for an Assistant Professor tenure-track position beginning
August, 2006. The successful candidate will participate in research at
an outstanding local Late Miocene fossil site. Responsibilities include
classroom and lab instruction and mentoring student research at undergraduate
and graduate levels. Ph.D. required at hire date.
The Department of Biological Sciences is currently comprised of fourteen
faculty members engaged in a wide range of research programs and serves
approximately 250 majors and 20 M.S. students. Further information concerning
the department is available at www.etsu.edu/biology.
The Don Sundquist Center for Excellence in Paleontology is under development
in Gray, Tennessee, 15 miles from the main ETSU campus. A museum with
research facilities and visitor center is planned for this unique Late Miocene
forested site. Additional information about the Gray site is available
East Tennessee State University is located in Johnson City, Tennessee,
a city of about 55,000 located in the southern Appalachian Mountains.
The region has a total population of more than 400,000 and combines a low
cost of living with amenities found in larger urban areas. ETSU enrolls
approximately 12,000 students and offers more than thirty master's degree
programs and six doctoral degree programs. Submit c.v., transcripts, statements
of research and teaching interests, and three letters of reference electronically
. Application review will begin on 12/1/05. ETSU is an AA/EO employer.
Systematic and Evolutionary Biology
University of Georgia
The Plant Biology Department at the University of Georgia has an opening
for an Assistant or Associate Professor in Systematic and Evolutionary Biology.
We seek a systematic biologist who uses innovative approaches to address
fundamental questions about plants, algae or fungi in areas such as phylogenetics,
molecular evolution, speciation or genome evolution. The successful candidate
is expected to develop a vigorous, externally-funded research program and
to teach and train undergraduate and graduate students in systematics.
Cover letter, curriculum vitae, short statements of research interests
and teaching philosophy and no more than five reprints should be assembled
into a single pdf file and submitted online at
. Candidates should request four referees to submit letters of recommendation
to the same site or by mail to Systematic and Evolutionary Biology Search
Committee, Plant Biology Department, University of Georgia, Athens, GA USA
30602-7271. Applications received by November 4, 2005 are assured full consideration.
The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences is committed to increasing the
diversity of its faculty and strongly encourages applications from individuals
in under-represented groups. UGA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Job Title: Curator, Orchid Identification Center (OIC)
Reports To: Head of Systematics
Position: 40 hours. Includes benefits.
Start Date: As soon as possible
The Selby Botanical Gardens Research & Conservation Department seeks
an experienced orchid taxonomist to manage its Orchid Identification Center
(OIC). The curator must be able to aid department taxonomists in the accurate
identification of Orchidaceae to species level, be familiar with relevant
botanical literature, and be able to supervise volunteers, students, and
interns. The successful candidate will manage and update the OIC species
files and the Spirit Collection of 24,000 specimens, as well as write articles
and provide lectures for public and scientific audiences, seek funding opportunities,
and be willing to participate in international fieldwork.
Minimum education/experience: M.Sc. in orchid taxonomy preferred or B.Sc.
in botany with two years practical experience in orchid identification.
Experience in a herbarium or museum environment a plus. Excellent communication
and computer skills (i.e., Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, Access, Adobe
PhotoShop) required. Selby Gardens is an equal opportunity employer and
a drug free workplace.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please send C.V.
and the names of three references to:
Wesley E. Higgins, Ph.D.
Head of Systematics
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
811 South Palm Avenue
Sarasota, Florida 34236 U.S.A.
Office: (941) 955-7553 ext. 315
Fax: (941) 951-1474
Dean and Vice President for Science
International Plant Science Center
New York Botanical Garden
The Garden's Dean and Vice President for Science is one of the nation's
highest profile spokespersons for the importance of basic research in the
plant sciences, with an emphasis on the significance of plant biodiversity
and conservation, and will represent The New York Botanical Garden and plant
science in international venues, in government relations and to the private
foundation community. The Dean and Vice President will lead strategic positioning,
planning, and administration for Science at the Botanical Garden and must
be a fluent and enthusiastic interpreter of plant sicence to a broad audience.
The individual in this position will be expected to assume active leadership
roles in international conservation and biodiversity organizations, and
to integrate international priorities in related research within Science
at the Botanical Garden.
The successful candidate will possess a Ph.D. and will be fully conversant
with modern molecular and genomic approaches as applied to plant biodiversity,
systematics, economic botany and related areas. The specific disciplinary
specialization is open, but the essential talent required will be the ability
to creatively blend the Botanical Garden's unique biodiversity collections
assets and deep expertise in plant and fungal diversity with evolving molecular
and genomics technologies. S/he will be a dynamic, collaboratively minded
individual with proven skills in interdisciplinary research team-building;
demonstrated grantsmanship; administrative experience in an academic and/or
research institute; publication record in plant molecular biology; excellent
written and verbal commu8nication skills for scientific and lay audiences.
Applicants should send curriculum vitae and statement of research interests,
and the names and contact informatino for at least three references to:
Dr. Kim E. Tripp, Ph.D.
Director of the Botanical Garden
Attn: Human Resources Department
The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, NY 10458 USA
Review of applications to commence on January 9, 2006
Director of Research &
Chair, Department of Botany
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) seeks a successful leader, scholar
and administrator to direct its research programs and to serve as Chair
of the Graduate Program in Botany, Claremont Graduate University.
RSABG is a 78-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to promoting
botany, conservation, and horticulture to inspire, inform, and educate the
public and the scientific community about California's native flora. The
Garden conducts programs in research, graduate education, public and professional
education, and rare plant conservation. Facilities include a one-million
specimen herbarium with worldwide representation, a living plant collection
of over 3,000 species and varieties on 86 acres, research laboratories,
greenhouse, nursery, seed storage facilities, and a 50,000-volume research
library. The Garden also publishes the scientific journal Aliso.
RSABG has an active, broad-based, internationally recognized research
program in systematic and evolutionary botany, and is the Botany Program
for Claremont Graduate University by an affiliation agreement, awarding
masters and doctorate degrees. Over 90 highly trained students have received
Masters of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degrees since inception of the
Qualifications: Reporting to the Executive Director, this endowed
position will have overall responsibility for management of the Garden's
research programs, including oversight of the graduate Botany Program (as
Department Chair), as well as supervision of the herbarium and research
library. The Director will also participate in teaching graduate-level
courses in botany and maintain an active externally-funded research program,
with a scientific focus that will complement and strengthen the current
research at the institution. The Director of Research will be fully committed
to graduate education, a well-regarded researcher, a skilled communicator,
and an excellent administrator and manager. Required are a doctorate in
botany or a related field, with specialization in some aspect of plant
systematics or evolutionary biology preferred, and an excellent and ongoing
track record of scientific publication and extramural funding. The Director
of Research will be expected to hold an Associate or Full Professorship
at Claremont Graduate University, which will be co-terminous with the appointment
as Director of Research.
To apply, send a letter of interest and curriculum vita to Patrick
S. Larkin, Executive Director, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, 1500 North
College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711. Letters of reference will be requested
later. For more information contact Mr. Larkin directly at (909) 625-8767,
ext. 220 or by e-mail at Patrick.Larkin@cgu.edu.
The search will remain open until the position is filled. The Botanic Garden
values a diverse community and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.
NEON Progress Report
Planning for the National Ecological Observatory Network is beginning to yield
new specifics about NEON science and the deployment of sensors and cyberinfrastructure.
NEON's ultimate goal is to forecast the future state of key ecological systems
in the United States. When fully deployed, the observatory will support systematic
study of seven US ecological priorities: invasive species, infectious disease,
climate change, land-use change, biogeochemical cycles, biodiversity, and aquatic
ecosystems. A standardized set of sensor technologies and cyberinfrastructure
will enable continuous, long-term data collection, storage, and dissemination
within 20 distinct climatic domains across the continental United States (in addition
to domains for Alaska/tundra/taiga, Hawaii/Pacific Tropical, and Atlantic Neotropical).
for more on the climatic domains and an interactive tool for exploring the maps.)
Within each domain (or NEON Node), infrastructure will be deployed in
three land-use/land-cover types: wild, managed, and urbanized, each of which
will contain transition zones between terrestrial and aquatic systems.
Every NEON Node will feature a range of standardized instruments deployed
at three fixed sites to provide critical data streams related to the ecological
priorities, as well as mobile capacity to conduct routine manual sampling
and to respond to sudden ecological events, such as the outbreak of an
infectious disease. NEON infrastructure will be networked via state-of-the-art
communication and computational tools.
NEON will be based on an open architecture that gives scientists access
to new and evolving hardware and software technologies. A suite of NEON
education programs will explicitly translate NEON science in ways that capture
the imagination and attention of the general public, including teachers,
students, decision-makers, and citizens from all walks of life. Teachers
will have real-time NEON data as a classroom learning resource, students
and citizen-scientists will participate in field trips to collect data,
and the general public will learn about their environment through daily
As NEON planning progresses, updated materials describing the project
will be available in print and online.
New Exhibition Showcases Research Projects by New
York Botanical Garden Scientists
Plants and Fungi: Ten Current Research Stories opens October 22 and features
unusual plant specimens, artifacts from explorations, maps, research
tools, and audio visual presentations showcasing Botanical Garden scientists
and graduate students. Ten exhibit cases present research stories involving
mushrooms, blueberries, lichens, mosses, cycads, rice, Brazil nuts, squashes,
vanilla orchids, and ferns. They illustrate how scientists unravel the mysteries
of science, including the evolutionary history, ecological roles, and economic
uses of plants and fungi.
The Tree of Life
Unraveling the mysteries of plant and fungal evolution is a major theme
of the exhibition. It is dramatized by a large-scale diagram of the Tree
of Life extending along one of the major walls of the gallery. Portions
of the Tree are magnified to show the relationships of plant groups, including
those of the plants in the research stories exhibit. Individual research
projects presented include DNA fingerprinting, classic plant exploration
and collection, and detailed scientific observation and description; for
example, compiling a definitive floral of all known ferns in Mexico and
documenting the lichens of the Ozark Mountains.
Ecological Roles of Plants
Scientists study the complex interactions of plants and fungi with their
environments. Many lichens, for example, are highly sensitive to pollution
and serve as environmental indicators of clean air. One research story
presents the documentation of the various species of lichens that grow on
the grounds of the Botanical Garden itselt.
The ecological role of plants and fungi also includes the many interactions
with animals. Plants in the Brazil nut family, for example, have evolved
many strategies to attract pollinators and to entice bats and other animals
to disperse seeds. Plants and fungi also interact with other plants and
fungi in their environment. In the harsh, high-elevation habitats of the
Andean mountains, botanists are studying the relationship between a porcini
mushroom and a member of the blueberry family that need each other to survive.
Uses of Plants and Fungi
People rely on plants and fungi as resources for medicine, food, fiber, and
fuel. One project studies the diversity of rice varieties: how different varieties
are created, maintained, and transformed through social networks. Another project
tackles the search for the wild ancestors of today's domesticated squashes.
Through research on cycads, botanists are studying a nerve toxin in cycads that
causes "Guam dementia" and that may provide clues to other human neurological
diseases such as Lou Gehrig's, Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's.
DEVELOPMENTAL AND STRUCTURAL
Flowering Plant Embryology: With Emphasis on Economic
, Nels R. Lersten
- John M. Herr Jr..............................................................................................................................140
Plant Functional Genomics
. Dario Leister (Editor) - John Kiss...........................................................143
The Ecology of Seeds
. Fenner, Michael and Ken Thompson. - Dorothea Bedigian........................143
Forest Canopies, 2nd Edition
. Lowman, M.D. and H.B.Rinker. (Eds.) - Harold W. Keller................144
Sonoran Desert Plants: An Ecological Atlas
. Raymond M. Turner, Janice E. Bowers,
and Tony L. Burgess - Root Gorelick..........................................................................................146
Waterlilies and Lotuses: Species, Cultivars,
and New Hybrids
. Slocum, Perry D. -Douglas
. Britton, George; Liaaen-Jensen, Synnove; Pfander, Hans P. (Eds.)
Immunology in Plant Health and its Impact on
. P. Narayanasamy,
-William Jira Katembe...................................................................................................................149
Plant Diversity and Evolution: genotypic and phenotypic
variation in higher plants
Robert J. Henry (editor) - Root Gorelick.....................................................................................150
Plant Life of Kentucky: An Illustrated Guide to
the Vascular Flora
. R.L. Jones- Ella Ingram.......151
Dogwoods: The Genus Cornus
. Paul Cappiello and Don Shadow. - Lane Greer and
. Michelangeli, Fabián - Aaron M. Ellison...............................................153
A Photographic Atlas of Botany and Guide to
. Castner, James L..
Flowering Plant Embryology: With Emphasis on Economic Species, Nels
R. Lersten, 2004. ISBN 0-8138-2747-7 (hard back $89.99) 212 pages. Blackwell
Publishing Professional, 2121 State Avenue, Ames, Iowa 50014, USA.
This rather short text, only 212 pages to include cited literature at the
close of each chapter and an Index, is clearly written and packed with up-to-date
information generally of value to any student of botany and essential for
those who will advance future research in this field. The author's point
that a single author can present a uniform style not usually found in edited
texts with many authors is supported by this text. The embryology of economic
plants is emphasized, and no other embryology text contains this emphasis.
The treatment of Pollination and Pollen-Stigma Interaction
is especially well written and offers
important information not presented in earlier texts. That pollen tubes do
not attain growth in vitro that they attain in situ, i.e., in contact with
carpellary tissue, supports the notion of the unique expression of heterospory
in seed plants mentioned later in this review. The discussion of Pollen
Germination, Pollen Tube Growth, and Double Fertilization, also reports
features and details of development not included in past treatments, even
in the more encyclopedic texts (e.g., Johri, 1984). The events in pollen
germination (the final developmental stages for the microgametophyte) are
very clearly and thoroughly explained. The behavior and movement of organelles
toward the apex of the pollen tube as growth is promoted by factors transferred
to it from the surrounding carpellary tissue, is explained clearly and
appropriately illustrated. The author presents a very thorough account
of studies on dimorphic sperm cells citing the most recent studies. This
phenomenon for the first time is clearly documented as a significant feature
of development. Sperm of different size and shape from the same microgametophyte
were mentioned only briefly by Maheshwari (1950) who regarded reports up
to that time as doubtful. Dimorphic sperm are not mentioned either by Maheshwari
(1963) or by Johri (1984). The events of pollen tube discharge and double
fertilization are accorded better analysis and summarization of variations
than have been offered in other treatments. The description of endosperm
development is innovative and complete. New terms applied to endosperm
types offer logical replacements for the traditional ones. Traditional
nuclear type is referred to as coenocytic while cellular type is described
more accurately as multicellular. Helobial type is retained for its first
discovery and prominence in the monocot Helobiales. Past accounts in passing
noted that in many cases the nuclear type in later development becomes cellular.
These cases here are treated as a separate type, viz. the coenocytic/multicellular
type which, as the author points out, is the most common type, and present
in 161 families. The author's brief speculations on endosperm variation
are very well stated and make more sense than those offered previously.
There is much more here for which any reviewer could offer genuine praise.
However, those who make use of this text should be aware of some errors,
which may well be regarded as minor; several omissions, at least one of
which is justified in view of the author's intentions for this text; and
alternative approaches to some subjects, which might be considered more appropriate
for reasons offered in this review.
As to the few errors, flowers with androecia and gynoecia are described
as bisexual or perfect and those with only one group of appendages
as unisexual or imperfect. Flowers belong to the sporophyte
generation and, therefore, are asexual. The statement that, "Continuous
xylem (in the stamen filament) is probably unnecessary..." is an unnecessary
conclusion that promotes a very common error in present-day biological writing,
viz., teleology. That the xylem is discontinuous need no further comment
unless its evolutionary derivation from the primitive stamen is to be discussed.
The ovule is not a megasporangium. Only the archesporium in the nucellar
hypodermis and tissue derived from it, the parietal and sporogenous tissues,
constitute the megasporangium. Where the megasporocyte is derived directly
from a single-celled archesporium, the megasporangium has been reduced to
Ontogeny of the microsporangia is omitted. The sporangial initials in
the hypodermal layer of the young anther divide to produce the primary parietal
layer and the primary sporogenous layer which produce respectively the secondary
parietal layers and the sporogenous tissue. From this common ontogeny
four types of microsporangia are produced (Basic type, Dicotyledonous type,
Monocotyledonous type, and Reduced type) based on variable patterns in
the derivation of the secondary parietal layers and sporogenous tissues.
This text accounts for ten different patterns or types of female gametophyte
development which are illustrated with a diagram from Maheshwari (1950).
Twelve patterns are illustrated by Maheshwari (1963) and thirteen by Johri
(1984). No mention is made of a second bisporic type, the Endymion type,
or of two Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium types. Atropous (orthotropous),
anatropous, and campylotropous ovules are described but are not illustrated.
The nature of these three ovule forms is difficult to visualize from the
descriptions alone, and there is no mention of the amphitropous type. Embryo
types first defined by Schnarf (1929), better explained by Maheshwari (1950),
and greatly elaborated to include numerous morphological variations by Johansen
(1950), are excluded from this text. Neither is the rather elaborate system
for classifying embryo development formulated by Souéges (see Crété,
1963) presented. This omission is reasonable in view of the author's intent
of presenting important principles of development which could, as has occurred
in other treatments, be lost in the morass of variation inherent in embryo
The criticisms so far addressed are not, of course, constructive, since
the text has already been published. And, indeed, these criticisms may be
regarded as not reflective of major error. The final criticism is directed
to what is here viewed as errors in the presentation of two topics marked
by a departure from accepted philosophy of the subject. Perhaps these remarks
will compel teachers and other users of this text to adopt alternative approaches
to these topics, so that the perceived errors will not detract from the
many aspects of value in this text. Each of these topics will be treated
The endosporic development of the male and female gametophytes is mentioned
briefly, but without any indication that flowering plants share this feature
with all other heterosporous plants. However, the unique features of seed
plant heterospory are not mentioned. All megaspores, for example, except
those of seed plants accumulate nutrients in an amount sufficient to produce
a mature female gametophyte. The energy required for endosporic development
is endogenous, and none is required from the environment during the process.
On the other hand, in seed plants the endosporic female gametophyte develops
and matures utilizing energy derived from the nucellus over the entire
course of the process. This comment goes to the contention expressed earlier
that the complex events of flowering plant embryology should be examined
in full view of their natural connection with developmental events in other
Discussion of the life cycle of flowering plants does not make clear
to the reader with proper emphasis that the alternation of generations is
an alternation of two types of plants, an asexual sporophyte and two sexual
gametophytes, male and female. The alternation of sporophyte and gametophyte
generations in the life cycle is a salient feature of the plant kingdom.
Terminology emphasized in the presentation of the flowering plant life cycle
is largely the cause for the failure to show the relationship, similarities
and differences, with other heterosporous plants and the unique nature of
the life cycle in green plants manifested in the alternation of generations.
The term, "pollen sac" and most especially the term, "embryo sac" should
not receive mention, although they are frequently used in the most prominent
texts written in the 20th century (e.g., Schnarf, 1929; Maheshwari,
1950; 1963, and Johri, 1984). If instead, these terms were omitted in favor
of "microsporangia" and "female gametophyte" respectively, the student reader
would make the proper connection between these structures and their counterparts
in other heterosporous plants, especially other seed plants. The term
"embryo sac" should never be used, since from its origin it promotes an
inaccurate concept propagated by Jacob Schleiden throughout his career
and most emphatically in his Principles of Botany text (Schleiden, 1849).
Schleiden successfully promoted the concept that the tip of the pollen
tube produced the "germ", the embryo which was nourished to maturity by
a nutritive fluid encapsulated in an ellipsoid body located within the
"nucleus" (see Gray, 1845, now the "nucellus") of the ovule. Nourishment
for the embryo was the sole function envisioned for the "sac of Amnios"
or embryo sac The terms "female gametophyte" or "megagametophyte"
that here in this text receive only parenthetical mention, connote a sexual
plant whose function is identical wherever heterothallism is expressed
in the gametophyte generation. This same connotation applies to the male
gametophytes or microgametophytes.
As mentioned previously, this major criticism treats matters that can
be easily corrected through good pedagogy, and it does not weaken my enthusiastic
recommendation of this text for a course in flowering plant embryology offered
to advanced undergraduate and first-year graduate students. In addition,
it would be of value to those conducting research in the field.
- J. M. Herr, Jr., Department of Biological Sciences, University of South
Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208.
Crété, P. 1963. Embryo. In P. Maheshwari [ed], Recent
advances in the embryology of angiosperms. International Society
of Plant Morphologists, University of Delhi, Delhi, India.
Gray, Asa. 1845. The botanical text-book, 2nd
ed. Wiley & Putnam. New York.
Johansen, D. A. 1950. Plant embryology. Waltham, Massachusetts.
Johri, B. M. 1984. Embryology of angiosperms. Springer-Verlag.
Maheshwari, P. 1950. Introduction to the embryology of angiosperms.
McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. New York.
. 1963. Recent advances in the embryology of angiosperms.
International Society of Plant Morphologists, University of Delhi, Delhi, India.
Schnarf, Karl. 1929. Embryologie der Angiospermen.
Verlag von Gebrãder Brontraeger. Berlin.
Schleiden, J. M. 1849. Principles of scientific botany.
Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans. London.
Plant Functional Genomics.
Dario Leister (Editor) Publisher: Food Products Press (New York, London,
Oxford); 2005 ISBN: 1560229993; List Price: $89.95 (paperback).
The rapidly growing field of genomics can be divided into structural
and functional genomics. Structural genomics is the first stage of genome
analysis that results in the complete DNA sequence of an organism while
functional genomics uses the genome sequence to determine the functions
of the genes. The Arabidopsis genome was completely sequenced in
2000, and the rice genome has recently been published. Functional genomics
will become more important to botanists and all biologists over time since,
as of July 2005, there are 1496 genome projects (89 of these are plant genomes)
with 276 completed genomic sequences. (http://www.genomesonline.org/).
The 23 articles in this volume are written by leading experts in the
field, and the book is organized into five major sections: breakthrough
techniques, species examples, organelles, pathways and processes, and protein
families. The chapters in the first section introduce many important concepts
in functional genomics including microarray technology, annotation of genomes,
T-DNA mutagenesis, reverse genetics tools, among others. The many Web-based
resources available in functional genomics are indicated, and the limitations
of the techniques as well as the importance of statistical analyses are discussed.
The chapters in the species section include a cynaobacterium (Synechocystis
), Chlamydomonas, moss (Physcomitrella), Arabidopsis
, rice, and maize. Of course, the organelle section contains a chapter
on chloroplast proteomics and one on mitochondrial proteomics.
Section three on pathways and processes provides many interesting applications
of functional genomics. These include photosynthesis, nitrogen metabolism,
fatty acid biosynthesis, seed development, and plant salinity tolerance.
In this section, we can see many fundamental advances, and how these new
approaches have made profound changes in research methodologies in these
fields. This last comment also applies to the final section of the book
which considers protein families such as plant transporters, cytochrome
P450, among others.
The editor should be congratulated for bringing together such a wealth
of information in one large volume. However, this book would benefit
from a glossary covering the most important and basic terms. In general,
the chapters are well-illustrated with diagrams and half-tone photographys,
but a few of the chapters would have benefitted from increasing the number
of figures to help explain complex topics. Functional genomics has a sometimes
bewildering list of terminology and acronyms, and in most (but not all)
cases, these are defined.
This book will be very useful for graduate students and faculty who plan
to use functional genomics in their research. While it would be difficult
to implement in an undergraduate class, the book would be useful in a graduate
course or seminar. Certainly, all university libraries should order a copy
for their collections.
- John Z. Kiss, Dept. Botany, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056
The Ecology of Seeds.
Fenner, Michael and Ken Thompson. 2004. ISBN 0-521-65311-8 (Cloth US $90.00)
ISBN 0-521-65368-1 (Paper $US 45.00) 250 pp. Cambridge University Press, 40
West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211.
Readily attracting a reader's eye, this volume's appealing sky-blue cover
illustrating dandelion seeds airborne, afloat, invites plant biologists
into a substantial examination of seed ecology. The Ecology of
Seeds takes up basic problems such as, What determines the number and
size of the seeds produced by a plant? How often should a plant produce
them? Why and how are seeds dispersed, and what implications do those factors
have on the diversity and composition of vegetation?
These data feed concepts connected to ecological aspects of seed biology,
starting with a consideration of reproductive strategies in seed plants
and progressing through the life cycle, comprising seed maturation, dispersal,
storage in the soil, dormancy, germination, seedling establishment, and
regeneration in the field. Field botanists will appreciate coverage of central
issues such as seed size and persistence in soil, how shade and seed size
constrain plant distribution, and the significance of seed banks. The text
reflects the central role that seed ecology has played in elucidating many
fundamental aspects of plant community function.
Information in this scholarly opus, meticulously documented with 62 pages
of literature citations, is organized into the following chapters: Life
histories, reproductive strategies and allocation; Pre-dispersal hazards;
Seed dispersal; Soil seed banks; Dormancy; Germination; Post-dispersal hazards;
Seedling establishment; and Gaps, regeneration and diversity. Searching
the volume is made easy with a ten-page index. For the next edition, an
additional author index would enhance the reader's ability to search for
work recalled by investigator's surname.
Profoundly important, is a discussion of associations between seed longevity
and particular habitat types. The severity and predictability of disturbances
interact to determine the persistence of seed banks beneath grasslands.
Severe disturbance tends to select for persistent seed bank.
Seed dormancy, an adaptation to prevent germination when conditions are
suitable for germination but the probability of survival and growth of
the seedling is too low to ensure successful seed germination, is addressed
in a chapter at the midpoint of the book. Types of dormancy: morphological,
physical and physiological are differentiated, with morphological dormancy
viewed as the most primitive type.
The study of gaps and their role in promoting seedling recruitment has
been an important focus of investigations into regeneration and species
diversity in plant communities over the past few decades. The book's final
chapter, Gaps, regeneration and diversity, closes with this disclaimer:
"Unpredictability of most types of disturbance may create a regeneration
lottery that results in the maintenance of species diversity by default."
The authors use a helpful device, not always seen, wherein each chapter
begins with a short introductory paragraph providing essential background
information and some key questions the authors intend to tackle in the succeeding
Anyone interested in plant seeds, whether recreational gardener, career
botanist, plant geographer or environmental scientist, will appreciate this
valuable compendium. It updates Seed Ecology, a work the first author
published two decades earlier, that contained citations to a mere fourth
of the references included here, indicating the exponential growth of research
in this field in recent years.
- Dorothea Bedigian, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis.
Fenner, M. 1985. Seed Ecology. Chapman & Hall,
Forest Canopies, 2nd
Edition. Lowman, M.D. and H.B.Rinker. (Eds.). 2004. Elsevier Academic Press,
525 B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, California 92101-4495. (ISBN 0-12-457553-6,
hardback), $79.95, xxiii+517 pp, 62 color images, 108 b&w figures, 20 tables,
7 ½" X 10 ½".
Why study the forest canopy ecosystem? Like the vastness of outer space
and the depths of the oceans, tree canopies represent one of the last frontiers
of exploration. Most of the biodiversity on planet Earth, estimated at
30 million species, occurs in the treetops. This beautiful book documents
the past 25 years of exciting research in treetops with 62 color images,
108 black and white illustrations, 20 tables, and 30 side bars with references
that enliven the 26 chapters written by 59 contributors. Tree canopy research
is a relatively new area of science because many of the techniques to reach
the treetops such as the single and double rope climbing systems, airships,
canopy rafts, sleds, cranes, towers, tram-lines, and walkways are of recent
origin. The purpose in this edition is to update the advances in tree canopy
research and pass on the knowledge base with all of its challenges and unanswered
questions to the next generation of canopy scientists, educators, and students.
This book accomplishes this and much more.
This second edition of "Forest Canopies" is an entirely new book. The chapter
titles and content are different and the number of contributors has almost
doubled. Three general themes: Structures of Forest Canopies, Organisms
in Forest Canopies, Ecological Processes in Forest Canopies, are found in
both editions with an added section, Conservation and Forest Canopies, in
the second edition. An overview begins each thematic section, for example,
the section on Structures of Forest Canopies compares the past decade based
on ground-based methods of how far a standing human could reach, to how
far a human can climb, usually to the treetop. This has enabled more quantification
data of the upper canopy, mapping the architecture of the entire tree, exploring
vertical stratification of biota, measuring factors such as age, light levels,
evolutionary status, and genetics. This goes beyond individual trees and
applies to the three-dimensional structure and development of forest ecosystems.
A broader definition of forest canopy is applied: "…denotes community
architecture as well as species composition, nutrient cycling, energy transfer,
and plant-animal interactions from the ground to the forest-atmosphere interface."
Sidebars are short canopy stories, one to five pages in length, with
their own set of references intercalated within the chapters that highlight
specific topics. Examples are "Measuring Canopy Structure: The Forest
Canopy Database Project", another example, "The Botanical Ghost of Evolution",
and still another "Arboreal Stromatolites: a 210 Million Year Record".
There are many other fascinating titles highlighting innovative methods
and ideas that serve to break up the more technical chapters. These sidebars,
set apart by their light green background, will appeal to a more general
This book would have benefited from a brief biosketch about the editors
(Margaret D. Lowman and H. Bruce Rinker) because of their long distinguished
career in canopy research that began in the late 1970s. The preface alone
is not enough. Meg Lowman's book "Life in the Treetops" has won several
book awards and serves as an inspiration for other young women to pursue
a career in canopy biology. Her delightful prose engages the reader in
such a way that broad readership will especially enjoy the chapters "Tarzan
or Jane? A Short History of Canopy Biology" or "Ecotourism and the Treetops".
Her pioneering research on canopy herbivory using rope climbing systems
will lead by example the next generation of women who will follow in her
footsteps. Bruce Rinker has wide ranging interests in tree canopy research
especially the ecological links between treetops and soils, ethnobotany,
entomology, ornithology, resource management, and canopy education and conservation.
Some highlighted examples of chapters where he is author or coauthor are
"Soil Microarthropods: Below Ground Fauna that Sustain Ecosystems", "Insect
Herbivory in Tropical Forests", and "Reintegration of Wonder into the Emerging
Science of Canopy Ecology".
A survey of the organisms in the forest canopy includes such diverse groups
as lichens, bryophytes, vascular epiphytes, mistletoe, mites, micro-arthropods,
tardigrades, vertebrates such as anole lizards, and mammals. A chapter
on the vertical organization of canopy biota also includes fungi and bacteria,
invertebrates, epiphytes, climbers, amphibians and reptiles, birds, and
mammals with each group limited to one or two pages of text. There are gaps
in our knowledge of canopy bacteria, fungi, and protists, including groups
such as the myxomycetes, dictyostelids,
and protostelids that are not even mentioned. Corticolous myxomycetes which
grow, develop, and sporulate on the bark of living trees from ground level
to the treetops should have been included since references exist dating
from the 1970's. Certainly the biodiversity and role of fungi in forest
canopies should encourage the next generation of mycologists to vertically
explore the bark surface of living trees. More research on the taxonomic
communities of micro-organisms, especially bacteria, myxobacteria, cyanobacteria,
green alge, fungi, and protists, will be new data for future chapters in
the next edition of forest canopies.
Information in tree canopy science is growing by leaps and bounds on
a global scale. Many of the references are after the year 2000 so the editors
included and updated current references just prior to publication. No glossary
is included. Tree canopy science has developed to a point where a set
of basic terms would be helpful to standardize a working vocabulary. A
user-friendly, alphabetized, 16-page index includes page numbers to topical
subjects, figures, tables, and genera which aids in finding a wide array
of key terms and thematic areas in the book. Careful attention to detail
in this section, for example, cross referencing terminology (water bears,
see Tardigrades) or fungi (10 citations) enables the reader to ferret out
general and specific information in different chapters.
Careful editing has eliminated most errors. Exceptions are the captions
given as scanning electron images on pages 252 and 253 which are actually
light photomicrographs without any value for the scale bars to determine
relative size. Again, on pages 254 and 255, the beautiful images are not
labeled as scanning electron micrographs.
Elsevier Academic Press has produced a book whose design, format, and
organization make it an easy and enjoyable read. The chapters are logically
arranged. In addition, the reader is effectively guided by topical boldface
headings, ample white space, and font size so reading this book is easy
on the eyes. Illustrations are tipped in at the appropriate spot in relation
to the text narrative instead of grouping the color images as a group of
plates at the end of the chapter or at the back of the book. The lead
in artwork and quotations add a touch of class to the major sections of
This book is recommended to a general audience interested in the biodiversity,
exploration, and conservation of tree canopy ecosystems on a global scale;
included in this group are conservationists, environmentalists, naturalists,
citizen action groups, educators, ethicists, and politicians at local, state,
and national levels. In addition, professional scientists working as botanists,
ecologists, foresters, and zoologists will find useful information related
to their fields of study. Finally, educators should consider using "Forest
Canopies" as a textbook for seminars or special topics courses offered at
colleges and universities.
This book is well worth the price and is a bargain when the many color
images are considered. Every library and person who values the importance
of trees and forests to the future of our planet should buy this book.
- Harold W. Keller is a Professor of Biology at Central Missouri State
University, Warrensburg, Missouri, 64093. Email:
Sonoran Desert Plants: An Ecological
Atlas. Raymond M. Turner, Janice E. Bowers, and Tony L. Burgess.
1995 [first paperback edition 2005]. ISBN 0-8165-2519-6. $39.95. 501 pages,
332 maps and charts, 81 photos. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
One of the problems with paperback versions of books is that instead of
plastering endorsements on the dust-jacket (fly-leaf), these quotes are
printed right on the front cover and cannot be easily ignored. For this
book, those words read, "A goldmine of information that represents more
than three decades of careful compilation." What a gross understatement.
The lead author alone has put in over four decades of such work. Between
the three authors and their litany of close colleagues, such as Rod Hastings,
Reid Moran and Howard Gentry (to name just a few), there are centuries worth
of careful work that have gone into this volume.
Sonoran Desert Plants is an atlas, showing the distributions of
339 species of Sonoran Desert plants in traditional maps. For each species
(or occasionally groups of closely related species with muddled taxonomy),
three maps are given (1) a thumbnail map showing whether the species occurs
or not in each state of the U.S., each state in Mexico, and each country
in Central America and the Caribbean, (2) an expanded map of the Sonoran
Desert and much of the Mojave Desert, with state boundaries and degrees
of longitude and latitude demarcated showing all the documented locations
of the species, and (3) a graph with elevation versus latitude, showing
the same latitudes and the same documented locations as the previous map.
Two types of data are distinguished on these maps: (a) herbarium voucher
specimens and (b) sightings by one of the authors or by some other highly
trusted authority. Various textual information is given for each species
- taxonomy, range, and other items - although the scope of this information
varies between taxa.
This book is limited in scope and idiosyncratic in its coverage. It
also happens to be one of the best and most beautiful data sources for plant
habitat information. Some day in the very distant future, when most herbaria
digitize their holding - if they make these data open to the public - maybe
such an ecological atlas will exist on-line. But for now, this book is
invaluable for any natural historian of the Sonoran Desert. It required
a remarkable amount of labor and expertise to compile even a single of
these distribution maps, let alone the hundreds of maps produced herein.
The authors have not only put together an atlas showing the distribution
of over 300 species in the Sonoran Desert. They have also included data
on the biology, biogeography, ethnobotany, and other interesting facts
for many species. In many instances, they have speculated as to the most
likely cause for range limits, such as temperature, precipitation, fire,
shade, salinity, other edaphic conditions, pollinators, grazing by livestock,
competition, and introgression. Although these speculations on causes of
range limits are just hypotheses, they are based on many years of field
experience and are one of the most interesting aspects of the book. I was
astounded by how in some genera (e.g. Agave), so many different factors
appear to influence range limits, depending on the species in question.
I was also impressed with how much the authors reported on the packrat
midden work (especially by Tom Van Devender) showing historical distribution
data over the past 20,000 years.
This book pleasantly surprised me with its reports of plants outside
of the ranges that I knew, even for plants that I thought I knew quite well.
For example, the elephant tree, Bursera microphylla, is well-known
from South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, but I had never before heard of
the Harquahala Mountain population roughly 15 km further to the north and
60 km further to the west.
The biggest idiosyncrasy of this volume is the choice of species. These
largely reflect the authors' interests. How else could one hope to compile
such an enormous amount of data without choosing their favorite taxa? And,
how else could the first 20% of the book cover plants whose genera start
with the letter "A"? This atlas contains entries for many of the most
common trees and shrubs of the Sonoran Desert, as well as a preponderance
of agaves, cacti, and woody legumes. Walking through the desert in the
dry season (i.e. much of the year), this is all you see. So, I find the
coverage quite good. Only if your taste lies more with herbaceous plants
- grasses, lilies, and little composites come to mind - will you be disappointed.
There are many other quaint idiosyncrasies throughout this volume. The
erstwhile family names Leguminosae and Compositae are used instead of the
more modern monikers Fabaceae and Asteraceae. Genus epithets are sometimes
given two letter abbreviations, e.g. Aesculus = Ae. I suppose
this could help distinguish Aesculus parryi from Agave parryi
, but I could find no obvious places in this volume where such confusion
The authors provide us with many curious tidbits. They report matched
photos/sightings taken roughly a century apart of the same individual of
Ambrosia dumosa, Atriplex cansecens, Celtis pallida
, Ephedra aspera, Opuntia kunzei [Grusonia kunzei],
and Peucephyllum schottii! Decent documentation on plant longevity
is often hard to find, other than from cores of woody trees. I have always
suspected that the Arizona Grusonia dog chollas (which the authors
refer to as Opuntia kunzei, O. emoryi, and O. parishii
) formed ancient clones that covered many square kilometers. At least this
atlas provides some evidence for the old age of the smaller fairy rings
of Opuntia kunzei. The authors report that pollen and nectar of
Aesculus californica (not a Sonoran Desert native, but rather native
to coastal and northern California) are poisonous to the non-native European
and African honeybees (both are subspecies of Apis millifera), but
not to native bees. They report obvious sexual dimorphism in leaves and
stems of desert populations of jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis). As
a final example, they report that cuttings of Ambrosia deltoidea
tied to other plants will deter herbivory by rabbits (citing Joe McAuliffe
at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, a place that is overrun with cottontails
and jackrabbits). There is no way to predict when such idiosyncratic gems
- and there are many - will be peppered throughout the text. These gems
keep you reading, albeit preclude skimming.
The authors have cited an extensive literature. Their reference list
is a very useful resource.
Sonoran Desert Plants is a great atlas. I hope that the authors
and possibly others continue to update this wonderful resource. On-line
documentation exists for all the data that went into the distribution maps
). This on-line documentation was apparently not designed for external
use, so is neither user-friendly nor aesthetic, but is publicly available.
I highly recommend Sonoran Desert Plants to anybody who is interested
in trees or shrubs of the Sonoran Desert, especially if interested in their
- Root Gorelick School of Life Sciences, Arizona State Uiversity
Waterlilies and Lotuses:
Species, Cultivars, and New Hybrids. Slocum, Perry D. 2005.
ISBN 0-88192-684-1. (Cloth US$34.95) 328 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Second Avenue,
Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
In Waterlilies and Lotuses: Species, Cultivars, and New Hybrids by Perry
Slocum, the author clearly and effectively presents a review of the cultivated
species and hybrids of the genera Nymphaea and Nelumbo, as
well as species of other genera in the Nymphaceae.
Perry Slocum was one of the best known, perhaps the best known, waterlily
and lotus breeder in the US. He bred hundreds of new varieties and ran his
own nursery, in addition to writing books. He was the first person to be
inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Watergardening Society
(now the International Waterlily and Watergardening Society), and he had
just finished this work when he died in 2004, having contributed greatly
to the renaissance in watergardening in the US.
This volume is really a modification of the earlier Water Gardening:
Waterlilies and Lotuses by Perry Slocum and Peter Robinson with Frances
Perry, also from Timber Press. In many ways this version is preferable,
especially for botanists, since it is taxonomically more tightly focussed.
The earlier volume dealt with all sorts of cultivated aquatic and marginal
plants. This volume is also more compact—the earlier book was sized and priced
more for decorative coffee table use—and has much better quality color in
the abundant illustrations than the earlier book had.
Waterlilies and Lotuses: Species, Cultivars, and New Hybrids does an
excellent job of surveying its subject matter. A picture gallery is followed
by chapters devoted to various species, different groups of cultivars,
non-Nymphaea members of the Nymphaceae, and lotus. Appendices present the
Hardinesss Zone maps and commercial sources. A wide range of species is
shown in the many color plates which come near the front of the book, along
with illustrations of important features such as tropical Nymphaea tubers,
the various types of rhizomes used in classifying hardy Nymphaea cultivars,
viviparous reproduction on leaves and flowers, and even a lovely closeup
of a flower of Ondinea purpurea ssp. petaloidea. Besides the color photographs
in the gallery, abundant line drawings supplement the text.
Many of the latest things in watergardening are presented. Not only is
the well-known Vicotoria hybrid `Loongwood' shown, but so is some of the
new material bred by Kit Knotts such as `Adventure.' The Australian Nymphaea
species which have been increasing greatly in popularity in the US are
also represented along with the first waterlily with white-blotched purple
petals, the prolific `Islamorada."
Of course, there are a few oddities. Anyone who has spent a little time
looking at catalog of waterlily nurseries will be familiar with the "blue"
flowered cultivars whose pictures are over-enhanced with filters to the
point of the normally green leaves looking like they are made of cobalt
glass, and the picture of the cultivar `Green Smoke' on p. 18 does have
a very odd, solarized appearance, but all-in-all, this is a wonderful book.
Who should buy a copy of Waterlilies and Lotuses: Species, Cultivars,
and New Hybrids? Certainly it belongs in college and university libraries,
and given the popularity of watergardening today, many amateur and professional
botanists will want a copy for strictly personal reasons. It would also
be useful for teaching both botany and horticulture, since waterlilies
and lotuses tend to be one of those plants which, when well grown and in
full bloom, elict a "wow," even from jaded undergraduates.
- Douglas Darnowski, Department of Biology, Indiana University Southeast.
Britton, George; Liaaen-Jensen, Synnove; Pfander, Hans P. (Eds.), 2004. Compiled
by A.Z. Mercadante and E.S. Egeland. 660 p., hardcover $159, ISBN: 3-7643-6180-8.
Birkhäuser Verlag, P.O. Box 133, Ch-4010 Basel, Switzerland.
If you work with a lot of carotenoids, or simply need a good reference
book containing fundamental data to help with laboratory work involving the
isolation, quantitation, or identification of carotenoids this is a tremendous
reference. Data on the physical properties of about 750 different carotenoids
are given. Note that this book is not a stand-alone tutorial on carotenoids,
but is intended as a reference book. Readers are referred to Volumes 1A
and 1B of a carotenoid series by the same editors for more in-depth information
on isolation and structure elucidation procedures, as well as more information
on this class of compounds in general.
The book is divided into 3 sections: an introduction, a main list of
carotenoids, and a supplementary list. The introduction is well worth reading
before using of any of the tables in the book. It explains the organization
of the book, how the data in the tables are presented, and useful information
on how to use that data. Only a few minor problems caught my eye in using
this book, two of them in the introduction: the description of the ordering
scheme for end groups other than ², ³, µ, and È was
not given, on page 21 the bottom arrows used to help explain the layout
of UV/VIS spectral data are shifted to the right, and in the data tables
on entry #258 reference 7 is missing. None of these are major problems
or detract from the usefulness of the book.
The main section of the book and the supplementary list provide data
on individual carotenoids. These two sections are distinguished by the
amount and reliability of the information available. Carotenoids that
the editors considered the structures and characterization to be reliable
are found in the main section. Other carotenoids and some derivatives of
carotenoids in the main list are found in the supplementary list. The key
information provided for each carotenoid includes as available the common
names, IUPAC semi-systematic names, molecular formula, structure, UV/VIS
data and the spectrum, mass spectral data, circular dichroism information,
literature references to NMR data and the type of NMR data presented, synthesis
if done with a reference, natural and recommended sources for isolation,
and remarks. Having the UV/VIS spectra along with numerical data on extinction
coefficients and absorbance ratios at different wavelengths is a strong
plus for this book.
The isolation procedures briefly summarized in the tables are those used
during some of the initial work for a given compound and not necessarily
the best isolation or currently recommended procedures. Not all details
are given and the information is given primarily as a history and guide.
The remarks are a valuable inclusion as they often provide important
information on a variety of topics including derivatives, stability, cis
and trans isomers, and sometimes optical isomers. Most optical isomers
are given a separate entry unless only mixtures of optical isomers have
An index of common and IUPAC names for carotenoids is included at the
end of the book to aid in finding carotenoids in the tables based on the
editors numbering system.
- Paul Peadon, Nature's Sunshine Products, Spanish Fork, UT.
Immunology in Plant Health
and its Impact on Food Safety. P. Narayanasamy, 2005, ISBN 1-56022-287-5
(hard cover 79.95), 412 pp, Food Products Press, An Imprint of The Haworth Press,
Inc. 10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
The book "Immunology in Plant Health and Its Impact on Food Safety" is
authored by Professor P. Narayanasamy, an accomplished researcher and a
former professor with wide experience on microbial plant pathology. The
professor's other works include two books, "Plant Pathogen Detection and
Disease Diagnosis and Microbial Plant Pathogen and Crop Disease Management".
Professor Narayanasamy has done notable research on crop plant diseases
and to his credit developed a whole range of immunological methods for detecting
viruses infecting various crop plants.
P. Narayanasamy has very strong credentials; indeed he is an expert on
the main issues presented in this book. He has impressive knowledge about
many immunodetection protocols and their various applications. These are
presented here with amazing simplicity, making the book pleasant to read
Immunology in Plant Health and Its Impact on Food Safety; the title of
the book under review does reveal certain key attributes about the book.
However, to a potential reader who needs to get a clear idea about the
main subject of the book, this title is confusingly long. Reading through
the book, the main theme is the application of immunological protocols in
detecting various plant diseases and how such diseases in food plants can
pose problems in humans. Considering the scope and content of the book,
a shorter title would perhaps be even more confusing. This book in a nutshell
is about application of immunology in detection of plant diseases and assessment
of their impact on food safety.
In the first part, the author takes you through the fundamentals of immunological
reactions, and the procedures used for generating both polyclonal antibodies
(PABs) and monoclonal antibodies (MABs). This section is highly useful for
students and researchers planning on using immunological techniques. Included,
are a wide range of traditional and novel immunodetection protocols. The
second part of the book includes structure and function issue as they relate
to plants. Here, constituents of healthy plants are included. This information
is invaluable as it prepares the reader for later chapters on plant responses
to abiotic and biotic stresses. For example, in the section following the
above, changes of plant biochemical constituents in response to various
stresses and infections are discussed. Plant resistance to infection, environmental
stresses, and engineering of resistance in plants are all covered in a well
organized and highly professional manner. Food safety is covered in the
last section. Here, various toxins associated with infectious agents and
residues of manmade chemicals are discussed.
This very broad yet intense coverage of such diverse but connected issues
makes the book a compendium of information. This boosts the validity of
this text as a desk copy and a reference companion, for those in laboratory
A close look at the book shows the probable purpose of the book is to
give the postgraduate, and beginning, or even established researcher an
affordable source of very robust immunological methods, and ideas for their
myriad applications. For every major immunological protocol, this book empowers
the user to pursue a whole range of application options, unlike other similar
books that put the user in some kind of straight metal jacket.
The text book is very readable considering the technical issues it addresses.
The author did an excellent work of explaining highly technical process
using clear English. Most of the issues discussed were given thorough but
not overbearing consideration. This book, through the many new ideas, has
the potential of bringing issue regarding plant health and food safety to
the center stage.
There are instances where long sentences that are amenable to reduction
or cutting into shorter sentences appear. Example p5 line #5. Sentences
like this appear elsewhere and where possible these need to be shortened.
In some areas too, many sentences begin with the word "The". When more
than two sentences begin in the same way some level of unintended monotony
There are areas that need addition of subheadings. Subheadings are needed
in areas where solid text extends for several pages without a break. Breaking
these into segments would reduce the never-ending-feeling to the reader
without loss of information.
Possible confusion: p12, 4th line of 2nd paragraph:
"The L chains may be of two types, namely k (kappa) and l
(lambda) chains, but the light chains of any one IgG molecules will
be of the same type." The underlined parts of the sentence sound conflicting
and needs revision.
All in all, this book is well structured and its overall development
is very orderly. The main issues have been developed in a logical manner.
This is a timely book that details traditional and recent or pioneering
protocols in use of immunochemical methods in monitoring and detection of
viral, bacterial, and fungal plant diseases. In 14 chapters, this book brings
together, many highly useful protocols some developed by professor Narayanasamy
himself and many selected from writings by experts in the field. This book
will prove to be of special interest, and indeed an essential one to postgraduate
researchers and established researchers involved in both plant health and
food safety. It will be a highly valuable addition to any lab reference
collection or departmental library.
I highly recommend this text to postgraduates, beginning researchers and
established researchers alike.
- William Jira Katembe, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS 38732
Plant Diversity and Evolution:
genotypic and phenotypic variation in higher plants. Robert J.
Henry, editor. 2005. ISBN 0-85199-904-2. US $120 (cloth). viii + 332 pages.
CABI Publishing: Wallingford.
Biodiversity and evolution of plants often takes a backseat to biodiversity
and evolution of animals. This is unfortunate because plants provide rich
insights into evolutionary processes and patterns of diversity. It is therefore
commendable seeing the new edited volume Plant Diversity and Evolution
, which contains contributions from molecular, organismal, and ecological
perspectives, many of which have a distinctive Aussie flavour (a refreshing
change from a literature dominated by Europeans and Americans).
There are some stellar papers in this volume. Wendel and Doyle's chapter
on the role of polyploidy in plant evolution is possibly the finest paper
that I have seen on this topic. I especially enjoyed their final section
on the influence of polyploidy on epigenetic signals, which brilliantly
reviews and synthesizes some very new work. Harris's chapter on cell walls,
which is appropriately set within an evolutionary framework, is also extraordinary.
It is especially commendable that he couched his review within the framework
of generally accepted contemporary phylogenies, including that of the Angiosperm
Phylogeny Group (APG). The many-authored paper on floral evolution by Soltis
et al. is also fabulous, albeit at times suffering from having a
few too many chefs. Their chapter provides a nice introduction to evo-devo
(evolutionary developmental biology) in plants, a subject that can often
be unfathomable to non-practitioners, especially because of its unsettled
taxonomy of genes and gene families (all with creatively idiosyncratic names
and abbreviations). In fact, most of the chapters in this volume are broad
in scope, at a minimum covering most flowering plants (okay, I do not understand
why the one chapter confined to a single family, Brassicaceae, by Mitchell-Olds
et al. was included in this volume, even though it was well written).
Virtually all chapters provide a nice review of some specific facet of
plant diversity, making this volume _ or a subset of chapters _ an interesting
choice for a lower-level graduate text. That's the good news.
Unfortunately, there is too little coherence or consistency in this volume.
Other than the title of the volume, I could not ascertain what was supposed
to be the scope of the volume or the papers therein. The editor provides
no synthesis nor umbrella. There is no stated impetus for this volume, such
as possibly a meeting or symposium. There is not even a definition given
of the highly normative phrase `higher plants'. Some authors in this volume
only discuss flowering plants; others discuss all seed plants; others discuss
all vascular plants; while some others discuss all land plants including
There was also too little structural consistency imposed upon the contributors.
There was disturbing lack of consistency in the figures. For example,
the chapter on ecological importance of species diversity (Beierkuhnlein
& Jentsch) contains absurdly large fonts and characters, while the
chapter on evolution of the flower (Soltis et al.) contains absurdly
small, faint and faded fonts, even including some labels that are upside-down!
The one consistent _ albeit disconcerting _ feature of this volume is
that all chapters lack abstracts. Equally disconcerting, many of the chapters
also lack conclusions and/or discussions. A small subset of the chapters
read like book reports, with no new insights nor interpretations. Fortunately,
this lack of consistency also allowed several chapters to really shine,
with authors being allowed to stick their necks out in wonderful ways and/or
to present more molecular diagrams than there usually would be space for.
As with any volume of this size, there are several minor typographical
errors, including by the editor, who disconcertingly misspelled the surname
of the famous John Doebley! There were also errors of omission, such as
a particularly spartan index. For example, the evolutionarily fascinating
phenomenon of pseudogamy was broached in several chapters, but does not
appear in the index.
I found the lack of discussion of evo-devo to be conspicuous, except
for the chapter on floral evolution by Soltis et al. Plant secondary
metabolites discussed in the chapter by Waterman and fruit shape and embryo
position discussed in the chapter by Mitchell-Olds et al. would seem
to fit beautifully into an evo-devo framework, especially in light of the
recent focus on evo-devo in Arabidopsis (Irish & Benfey, 2004)
and, to a lesser extent, in all other land plants (Svensson & Engstrom,
2002). As zoologists have realized, evolutionary developmental biology
provides a wonderful synthetic link between molecular genetic and the fossil
record (Carroll et al., 2005). Thus, the chapter on angiosperm
phylogeny by Chase _ which asserts that phenotypes should never be
used in generating phylogenies _ is completely contrary to the synthesis
that evo-devo biologists are constructing. When will we finally learn that
some small genetic (and epigenetic!) changes can have enormous phenotypic
effects? Temporal and spatial placement of regulatory transcripts can matter
much more than the mere presence or absence of those transcripts throughout
the aggregation of tissues of an organism.
Despite the unevenness and inconsistency within this volume, the good
chapters are so good that I am glad to have read through the entire volume.
It forces you to think more broadly about plant evolution and realize
that people in different subdisciplines may be arriving at conclusions that
can steer your own work in interesting directions. But, be prepared to
skip through this volume, spending many hours on some chapters and possibly
giving up on others after only a few pages. Because of the relatively steep
price and the limited number of stellar chapters, botanists and evolutionary
biologists should at least recommend that your libraries acquire this volume.
- Root Gorelick, Arizona State University
Carroll, S.B., Grenier, J.K., and Weatherbee, S.D. 2005. From DNA
to diversity: molecular genetics and theevolution of animal design
(2nd edition). Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Irish, V.F., and Benfey, P.N. 2004. Beyond Arabidopsis: ranslational
biology meets evolutionary developmental biology. Plant
Physiology 135: 611-614.
Svensson, M.E., and Engstrom, P. 2002. Closely related ADS-box genes
in club moss (Lycopodium) show broad xpression patterns and are structurally
similar to, but hylogenetically distinct from, typical seed plant MADS-box genes.
New Phytologist 154: 439-450.
Plant Life of Kentucky: An Illustrated
Guide to the Vascular Flora. R.L. Jones. 2005. ISBN 0-8131-2331-3
(hardcover $75) 834pp. The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.
In the book's preface, the author states "It has become increasingly
obvious in recent years that the state is greatly in need of [a complete
flora]." Consider that need filled. With 2,600 species included in the
flora and ten years in the making, Dr. Jones's work is substantial in content,
quality, and physical size (the book weighs a respectable 1.9kg). He should
be commended for the effort involved and the high caliber of the finished
The book is divided into two sections _ the introductory matter and the taxonomic
treatment of Kentucky's plant life. The introduction, comprising just over
10% of the book, includes the general introductory material expected in
such a work (such as Kentucky's physical and climatic setting and plant
community descriptions), as well as some novel additional material. For example,
the author describes quite extensively the history of botany in Kentucky,
focusing on key participants in the science.
Of this additional material, the most delightful is the listing of national
champion tress in the state. Apparently, oaks are king in Kentucky.
The taxonomic treatment section contains the 40 major keys, allowing identification
to family level (with a very handy index of the 179 included plant families
printed on the inside back cover), and the individual family treatments,
allowing identification to species level. Native and naturalized exotic
species are both included in the flora, being differentiated by a symbol.
The basis for the flora is the sizeable collections held in various herbaria
through the state.
The "illustrated" in the title comes from the almost 2000 line drawings
included in the book. More than 75% of the species listed have accompanying
drawings, most of these being derived from the classic Britton & Brown
manual. The drawings are very finely printed, and useful, especially those
in the glossary. Sometimes, however, the line drawings of plant specimens
included enlarged details that weren't identified as diagnostic in the key.
Also, the location of the drawing for a particular species isn't listed
with the descriptions (only in the index), and species with accompanying
drawings aren't specially identified.
One limitation of the book is the absence of good distribution information,
a lack readily acknowledged by the author. Currently, the description of
species distributions is limited to listing in which of the three physiographic
provinces the species are likely to be found, a level of detail that is
not particularly helpful. A final limitation is the limited detail in the
family and species descriptions regarding the expected size of plants.
Granted, there is tremendous variation in this characteristic, but knowing
whether to expect a 20cm tall plant or a one meter tall plant can be helpful,
particularly for novices.
For botanical professionals in Kentucky, this book is likely to become
a key reference in their libraries. Botanists in states surrounding Kentucky
will also benefit from this resource, particularly those in Tennessee,
whose flora overlaps significantly with Kentucky's (according to the author).
Non-professionals may find the key difficult to use as the botanical vocabulary
is quite detailed, despite efforts of the author to make it accessible.
Due to its size, I doubt the book would become a field guide for Kentucky
botanizers. However, it certainly makes for a comprehensive reference text.
The first thing a new owner of this book should do is open to page 731,
Jones's epilogue to the taxonomic section, and enjoy his prose.
- Ella Ingram, Department of Applied Biology and Biomedical Engineering,
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute IN 47803
Dogwoods: The Genus Cornus.
Paul Cappiello and Don Shadow. 2005. ISBN 0-88192-679-5 (Hardcover US $39.95)
224 pp. Timber Press, 133 SW 2nd Ave., Ste. 450, Portland, Oregon 97204.
Many consider Cornus florida L. to be a perfect tree, with beautiful
color in spring and fall, excellent winter form, and lovely summer foliage.
Cappiello and Shadow would agree, but they lead us on a journey through
all the other Cornus that are just as deserving as C. florida
, if less often touted. Cornus mas, for example, has always been
a personal favorite but is largely ignored in the South because the plant
rarely produces fruit. Cappiello's notes on this species were very good
and affirmed our feelings that the early, abundant blooming is sufficient
to warrant a place for this plant in any landscape.
The first chapter provides an overview of Cornaceae, and the remainder
of the book is organized by Cornus groups, as definted by the authors.
The real strong points of the book are the excellent photographs of distinctive
cultivars, which are particularly good in the C. kousa and C.
florida sections. We also found the information on typical growth by
region extremely helpful. Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest will be happy
to know that they can grow almost any Cornus, while Southerners
can quickly find out when not to waste their time.
The section on anthracnose was well written and truly tried to highlight
the differences between the two types of the disease. We thought that a
picture would have been worth a thousand words, however, since the described
differences are so slight as to be almost indistinguishable. Dogwood anthracnose
lesions are described as 0.25 inches in diameter, tan to brown in the center,
and surrounded by purplish rims. Spot anthracnose is described as 0.25
inches in diameter and light brown in the center. See the problem? The
same can be said of other dogwood diseases; side-by-side pictures of
Discula, Elsinoe, and Septoria would have been incredibly
helpful for the general public who have trouble differentiating insect eggs
from coated time release fertilizers. In a similar vein, the problem of
overfertilizing is mentioned several times, but fertilizer recommendations
are not given.
Personal enjoyment of the book may depend on one's objective when taking
the book in hand. The stated goals of this book (pp.10-11) are to 1) share
an appreciation of the diversity of dogwoods, 2) share a love of exploration,
3) add to horticultural knowledge about dogwoods, and 4) write from the
perspective of and for gardeners. The authors draw a line in the sand between
the aims and interests of horticulturists and plant systematists, and make
no bones about where they stand. This rather
defensive posture is taken apparently to ward off criticisms of the authors'
decision to not discuss contemporary understanding of the systematics of
Cornus or to use this as an organizing framework for presenting the
diversity of dogwoods. Unfortunately, this simplistic strategy for dealing
with the discomfit that gardeners and other enthusiasts feel about the
dynamic nature of classification undermines the laudable goals set forth
in the preface. Rather than scoff (p. 18) at the utility of classifying
herbaceous dwarf dogwoods (e.g. C. canadensis L.) in the same subgenus
as the Cornelian cherry tree (C. mas L.), the authors could surely
impart a greater appreciation of dogwood diversity by musing on the origin
of dwarf dogwoods from their arboreal ancestors. Actually, systematists
now believe that the closest relatives of the enigmatic dwarf dogwoods lie
among the showy-bracted American species, like C. florida L. (see,
for example, Fan and Xiang 2003). There is a sufficient level of understanding
of relationships in the genus Cornus to have included a simple summary
that would broaden the appreciation of all readers, regardless of whether
their interests are more evolutionary or more horticultural in focus.
We were interested to see how the shrubby dogwoods of the eastern U.S.
would be presented, as covered in the heterogeneous Chapter 3 (the Cornus
alba L. group). The authors seem to delight in the taxonomic morass
of this group and the challenges it presents to systematists and naturalists
alike. We admit that we have been highly vexed by these plants. Understandably,
there are no new insights here concerning species delimitation. Cornus
asperifolia Michx. is treated as a species with a more pubescent form
treated as C. asperifolia Michx. var. drummondii (C.A. Mey.)
J.M. Coult. & W.H. Evans, rather than as a species. Cornus foemina
Mill. is considered conspecific with C. racemosa Lam. and C.
stricta Lam. is not mentioned anywhere in the book. (It should be noted
that although Latin binomials are used throughout, taxonomic authors are
not.) Given the strictly horticultural perspective of authors, perhaps
readers would be better served by grouping difficult to distinguish entities
under single entries, rather than using an arbitrary selection of taxa.
It is easy to see that this book was a work of love for Cappiello. The
photographs and attention to cultivar detail are obviously the result of
years of work. We also appreciated Cappiello's sense of humor. For gardeners
and nurserymen, this work is key to understanding the genus.
- Lane Greer, West Linn, Oregon and Mark Fishbein, Dept. of Biology, Portland
State University, Portland, Oregon
Fan, C., and Q.-Y. (J.) Xiang. 2003. Phylogenetic analysis of Cornales
based on 26S rRNA and combined 26S rDNA-matK-rbcL sequence data.
American Journal of Botany 90:1357-1372.
Michelangeli, Fabián A. 2005. ISBN 0-89327-466-6 (Cloth, US$30.00). 114
pp. The New York Botanical Garden Press, 200th Street & Southern Blvd.,
Bronx, NY 10458 USA. http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/PressHome.asp.
The Melastomataceae, a predominantly tropical group and the seventh largest
angiosperm family, includes life forms ranging from herbs to trees, epiphytes,
and lianas. Most melastomes are medium-sized shrubs or small trees, and in
many tropical forests they are the dominant plant family represented in
the understory. In the last 20 years or so, the systematics of many melastome
tribes have been revised and updated, and the overall phylogenetic structure
of the family is now reasonably well-understood (Clausing and Renner 2001).
Nearly half of the melastomes _ approximately 2000 species _ are placed
in 20-30 genera within the tribe Miconieae. The genus Tococa, reviewed
and revised by Michelangeli in the monograph under review, is particularly
notable for the many species that have ant domatia. This genus has a long
history of systematic attention, beginning with Aublet's description of
the genus in 1775, and continuing through Cogniaux's revisions at the end
of the 19th century. Michelangeli's revision is the first thorough
analysis of the genus since 1891, and this monograph is a significant contribution
to our overall understanding of the ecology, evolution, and phylogeny of
genus, the tribe Miconieae, and the family.
The work presented in this monograph derives directly from Michelangeli's
dissertation work, and the cladistic treatment is based exclusively on 64
morphological characteristics (his more recent work [Michelangeli et al.
2004] examines phylogenetics of the Miconieae from molecular data). Key
findings from the morphological analysis (amplified in Michelangeli 2000)
are that our current concept of Tococa is polyphyletic, with some
species being more closely related to Miconia than they are to other
species of Tococa, and that the genus Myrmidone is nested
clearly within Tococa. Ant domatia (and myrmecophytism) occur in
two-thirds of the species, have evolved at least twice, and have been secondarily
lost once within the clade of
Tococa sensu strico. It is particularly curious that many of the
myrmecophytic species do not have specialist co-evolved ants associated with
them, but instead host a broad range of ants, themselves in several subfamilies.
This suggests a fairly recent and perhaps rapid evolution of myrmecophytism
in Tococa, but this hypothesis has not yet been addressed either
in Tococa or in the other unrelated myrmecophytic melastomes.
The bulk of Michelangeli's monograph is devoted to the systematic treatment
of the 47 individual species in Tococa sensu lato. The treatments
are detailed, and include brief notes on how to discriminate among similar
species. Few details on the ecology or habitat of each are given, reflecting
the broad need for detailed studies of individual taxa. Twenty of the species
are illustrated, some with original drawings by Bruno Manara, and others
reprinted from Berry et al. (2001). Range maps are given for 45 of the species;
the remaining two, T. stellata and T. undabunda are known
only from type specimens. The distribution maps are not always placed within
or adjacent to species descriptions, and so I often found myself hunting
for the range map to map the species under discussion.
Overall, this monograph is a significant contribution to our understanding
of the systematics of a large, diverse, and difficult plant family. It highlights
the value of careful analysis of morphological data, and provides the basic
information necessary for comparative ecological studies of Tococa
, and of ant-plant relationships in the Melastomataceae. For the growing
cadre of melastom-ologists, this monograph will be a welcome addition to
- Aaron M. Ellison, Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, MA 01366.
Berry, P. E., B. K. Holst, and K. Yatskievych (editors). 2001. Flora
of the Venezuelan Guayana, volume 6. Saint Louis: Missouri Botanical
Clausing, G., and S. S. Renner. 2001. Molecular phylogenetics of Melastomataceae
and Memecylaceae: implications for character evolution. American
Journal of Botany 88: 486-498.
Michelangeli, F. A. 2000. A cladistic analysis of the genus Tococa
(Melastomataceae). Systematic Botany 25:
Michelangeli, F. A., D. S. Penneys, J. Giza, D. Soltis, M. H. Hils, and J. D.
Skean. 2004. A preliminary phylogeny of the tribe Miconieae (Melastomataceae)
based on nrITS sequence data and its implications on inflorescence position.
Taxon 53: 279-290.
Photographic Atlas of Botany
and Guide to Plant Identification. Castner, James L. 2004. ISBN 0-9625150-0-0
(Spiral US$40.00) 310 pp. Feline Press, P.O. Box 357219, Gainsville, FL 32635.
Photographic Atlas of Botany and Guide to Plant Identification is James
Castner's newest book and is formatted similarly to his Photographic Atlas
of Entomology and Guide to Insect Identification that was released by Feline
Press in 2000. Castner is well known for his many other works focusing
primarily on aspects of entomology and the Amazon Rainforest, and the photographs
featured in this book are of the same high quality as those of his previous
The book consists of two sections: one on plant anatomy and a second on
plant taxonomy. The plant anatomy section focuses on the form and function
of roots, stems, leaves, fruits and flowers. Macroscopic and microscopic
photographs of plants demonstrate the wide variation within Kingdom Plantae,
and each photograph is labeled for easy identification of the discussed
Castner does an admirable job of clearly distinguishing structures that
are confusing to beginning botany students, e.g. thorns, spines and prickles.
Definitions are reinforced by detailed photographs that illustrate anatomical
structures on common plants that many students will find familiar.
The plant taxonomy section focuses on the distinguishing characteristics
of 153 commonly studied families of seedless vascular plants, non-flowering
seed plants and flowering plants. Vivid photographs featuring important
characteristics of each family are accompanied by brief descriptions of
anatomical and ecological attributes that allow easy identification of living
specimens. On a visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden, I was able to use
the general taxonomic information provided to correctly identify the families
of several plant species I previously knew little about.
This work would be a wonderful guide for any educator teaching introductory
plant anatomy or diversity, as well as an easy to understand resource for
students in the classroom or laboratory. The clear photographs and concise
definitions and descriptions allow anyone, especially those without a botanical
background, to easily grasp all the topics covered within the book. Although
the actual book is a bit large to be a convenient resource when working
in the field, its spiral binding and glossy pages make it an ideal reference
manual in the laboratory.
-Kasey Hames, Department of Biological Sciences, Saint Louis University.
If you would like to review a book or books for PSB,
contact the Editor, stating the book of interest and
the date by which it would be reviewed (15 January,
15 April, 15 July or 15 October). E-mail
email@example.com, call, or write as soon as you notice
the book of interest in this list because they go quickly! - Editor
Begonias: Cultivation, Identification, and Natural History. Tebbitt,
Mark C. 2005. ISBN 0-88192-73303 (Cloth US$34.95) 360 pp Timber Press,
133 S.W. Avenue, Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527.
Bibliography of Conifers. Farjon, Alijos. 2005. ISBN 1-84246-120-6
(Cloth £75.00) 212 pp. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey
TW9 3AB, United Kingdom.
Flora of North America, Volume 5, Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part
2. Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2005. ISBN 0-19-522211-3
(Cloth US$120.00) 690 pp. Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Avenue,
New York, NY 10016-4314.
Growing Hardy Orchids. Tullock, John. 2005. ISBN 0-88192-715-5
(Cloth US$49.95) 220 pp. Timber Press, 133 S.W. Avenue, Suite 450, Portland,
Handbook of Medicinal Plants. Yaniv, Zohara. (ed.) 2005. ISBN
1-56022-995-0 (Paper US$ 59.95) xx + 500 pp. Food Products Press, 10 Alice
Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.
Inspiration and Translation: Botanical and Horticultural Lithographs
of Joseph Prestele and Sons. White, James J., Jugene B. Bruno and
Susan H. Fugate. 2005. ISBN 0-913196-80-0 (Paper US$18.00) 84 pp Hunt
Institute for Botanical Documantation, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000
Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Farjon, Alijos. 2005.
ISBN 1-84246-068-4 (Cloth £125.00) 648 pp. Royal Botanic Gardens,
Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, United Kingdom.
Plant Conservation: A Natural History Approach. Krupnick, Gary
A., and W. John Kress (eds) 2005. ISBN 0-226-45513-0 (Paper US$30.00)
344 pp. The University of Chicago Press, 1427 E. 60th Street,
Chicago, Il. 60637.
Plant-Provided Food for Carnivorous Insects: a Protective Mutualism
and its Applications. Wäckers, Felix L., Paul C.J. van Rijn, and
Jan Bruin (eds). 2005. ISBN 0-521-81941-5 (Cloth
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