Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1969 v15 No 4 Winter
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
December, 1969 Volume Fifteen Number Four
Economic Botany for Liberal Arts Students
Sydney S. Greenfield Department of Botany
The importance of plants in human affairs is not widely enough appreciated. Plants are intimately related to every phase of human living. They provide us with food, shelter. clothing, medicine, and other essentials. They are also the major material resources on which civilization is based.
There is hardly any phase of human history in which plants have not played a fundamental role. The advance of every society depended upon a successful agriculture. Often a specific crop has influenced events. Consider the role of cotton in the industrial revolution and in U.S. history, the potato in Irish history, coffee in Brazil, and the enormous range of activities now dependent upon paper and rubber.
Most of the great struggles of mankind, human migration, world exploration, the institution of slavery, wars, conquests and the exploitation of subject peoples, have been related to attempts to gain control of and utilize the productive lands of the earth.
In primitive societies, the dependence of man on plants is clearly obvious to everyone because of the intimate daily contact with plants as sources of basic needs. However, in complex industrial societies, man is remote from the sources of production, and plant products often reach him after considerable processing and change in form, so that he seldom recognizes or appreciates his dependence on plants.
We are now faced with critical problems affecting our welfare, or even our survival, among which are the need to provide adequate food and decent standards of living for the people of the world, and the need to properly conserve and utilize our natural resources. Attempts to solve these problems depend on a much wider understanding of man's dependence on plants as well as of fundamental knowledge of the nature of plants and plant science.
Although many specialists have such understandings and much work is in progress on basic problems, effective public support for intelligent national and international programs related to food and other plant resources requires much wider knowledge of the nature and importance of plants on the part of the general public. The implications of the role of plants and plant science in human affairs should be included in courses in general biology, in botany, and in the social sciences where appropriate, but there is a special opportunity for such studies in a course in economic botany in the liberal arts college.
Some courses in economic botany tend to be technically detailed studies of plants and plant products and are quite suitable for majors in the plant sciences. Other courses give greater emphasis to the economic and historical significance of plants used by man. It is the latter approach that is especially valuable in the liberal arts college. A number of colleges have such courses, but the enrollment is limited, and we have barely begun to make the important contribution to the liberal arts college that can be made through the medium of economic botany.
In the spring of 1952, the author, inspired by some conversations with the late J. Fisher Stanfield, introduced a one-semester course in economic botany at the Newark College of Arts and Sciences of Rutgers University. The nature of the course has varied over the years, especially as student enrollment in it increased every year. A brief discussion of the aims and methods of the course might serve to indicate what we are trying to accomplish.
The catalog description is as follows:
130:207 or 207S. ECONOMIC BOTANY. (Cr. 3.) Lec. 3 hrs. Greenfield.
The influence of plants and plant cultivation on the economic, social and cultural history of man. An introduction to economically important plants and their products, especially as sources of food, shelter, clothing, drugs, and industrial raw materials; current problems of agriculture, plant industry, and medicine; and the use and conservation of natural plant resources.
There is no prerequisite, and some who take the course have not had college biology. Freshmen are not admitted. Student majors from every discipline elect this course but most are social science and natural science majors. Our enrollment has grown from 13 in 1952 to an average of 360 per year in recent years, in a college having about 3,200 students. It is reputed to be the largest enrollment for such a course in the United States.
After an introductory orientation on the intimate relation of plants and plant products to everyday life and to current world problems, two weeks are spent on a historical survey of man from primitive societies to the present, giving selected examples of the fundamental role of plants and their products in every major phase of civilization. The major part of the course consists of a series of lectures on food, beverages, forest products, fibers, latex, medicinals, spices, etc. We conclude with a brief survey
of the role of plants and plant products in contemporary U.S. and world problems.
Since many students will have had little or no botany, it is necessary to introduce fundamental botanical information, and it seems best to integrate it with the appropriate subject. For example, in discussing food, the nature of the seed plant, its basic structure, physiology and reproduction are essential, and illustrations usually used are wheat, corn, a legume, beet, potato, and apple. In the lectures on forest products, the structure and growth of the woody stem is introduced to give understanding of the source of wood and the basis for its varying appearance and uses. Even in a lecture hall with 180 students, lively and stimulating discussions can be held, especially on such topics as food and population problems, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and drugs.
Since the subject of economic botany is so vast and a fourteen-week course of three lectures per week can only cover the high spots, it seems desirable to have the student study some aspect in depth. In the early years of the course, when enrollment permitted, a term paper was required. Students selected a topic from a long list provided, and were helped with references. Many superbly interesting papers were submitted, and everyone regarded the term paper as a very worthwhile experience. After the enrollment exceeded 125 it was no longer feasible to continue with the term paper, and on the advice of colleagues in History who had been faced with the same problem, we began to require a brief book report instead of the term paper. There are, of course, a great many fascinating books in the field of economic botany, and students enjoy reading them. Some of the students will also read papers in the journal "Economic Botany."
Students frequently say that this is not only the most interesting course they have taken but that it has given them an entirely new appreciation of plants and botany, and most important, that economic botany is a really relevant subject. 'We hope that botanists will be encouraged to offer similar courses in as many liberal arts colleges as possible.
Group-Conference Botany: An Obituary
IV. H. Brandt
Department of Botany and Plant Pathology
Oregon State University
The Berkeley riots originated, some have said, because of left-wing agitation, feeble administration, and undergraduate unrest about the impersonal quality of their education. Tongue-in-cheek, students at other universities have said "Do not fold, staple or mutilate me . . . I am a student at Berkeley."
The General Botany course taught until recently at Oregon State University did not counteract political agitation nor produce administrators with more spine, but it did seem to make students feel that they had received personal attention in the classroom. One student put it this way:
I feel that the method of learning known as a group discussion is one of the best ways to develop both knowledge of a particular subject and the technique of scientific investigation, which is the means of learning the subject. The student is treated as an individual not a number, his thoughts on the subject can be expressed and criticized without reservation. The reacher's views on the subject matter can also be criticized without hard feelings.t (italics mine)
The late Dr. S. M. Dietz originated Group-Conference Botany at Iowa State College more than 30 years ago. He constructed a framework of biological principles which could flexibly accommodate new knowledge. Old view-points were often replaced by new ones, but the discoveries in fields such as genetics, morphogenesis, biochemistry, and population biology fit readily into Dietz's conceptual framework.
The 1938 report of the Botanical Society of America2 carried a description of the Iowa State Group-Conference in General Botany. The description outlined some drastic departures from standard science course procedures which would still be drastic at most universities.
Dietz abolished lectures, quiz sections, and all routine laboratory exercises as well. He changed the instructor's job from merely pouring out information to challenging students' minds, helping them in their reasoning, and aiding them to arrive at conclusions which could withstand
t Anonymous student comment in response to a request to compare the group-conference to the lecture-lab method of science teaching at Oregon State University. Students handed in type-written, unsigned evaluations after one week's reflection. The students were told that no one would look at the evaluations until after term grades were issued. Each comment is by a different student.
2 Botanical Society of America. Committee on the Teaching of Botany. 1938. An Exploratory Study of the Teaching of Botany in Colleges and Universities in the United States. pp. 26-27.
their classmates' criticisms. Neither the instructor nor the laboratory manual gave the students more than a few specific instructions. Thus the student often might (or had to) choose what he would do. To relieve the student of the time-consuming job of making his own botanical drawings, artists' drawings were printed in the laboratory manual. The time saved was spent in examining additional plant materials, thus allowing the student to develop broader perspectives than were possible if he made a de-railed drawing of just one kind of plant material.
The instructor's tools included living plants, problems about plants. his mind, and two hours with the students at each session. Each instructor met with each class of no more than 32 students three times weekly. The botanical problems presented led students to integrate their previously acquired knowledge and ro apply it; the problems also raised questions about plants in students' minds and gave them an opportunity to think for themselves. After the students had worked out answers to their botanical problems and had discussed them, the instructor molded the students' observations and deductions into a correct picture.
The features of the group-conference just described. these departures from tradition, have proved to be sound over 30 years of classroom use.
The easiest lab course I have ever taken. Not easy in that the material was simple or that the presentation was elementary but easy in the sense that one never felt like cutting class. At S:00 A.M. on Saturday morning, that is a feat in itself. The course is interesting both because of student participation and because of the feeling of collective learning. The instructor skirts the topic, the lab manual briefly outlines the topic then the class chews it, and hopefully it is digested. It is a course where the student gets as much as he gives. There is no way to compare it to the typical type of lab in that the typical lab has lecture and learning through hearing while the botany lab has learning through lecture and participation continually. This is as close to actual experience as I have come in a subject.'
Since the group-conference instructor did not pour out information to the students, they had to dig much of it our for themselves. The digging and thinking and discussing took more time than a lecture but it appeared to be more effective. Students needed extra time for experiments because they got to design substantial portions of them. Thus, the group-conference required three 2-hour sessions per week. Because they appealed to fundamental human motivations. problem-solving and discussion earned the interest even of resentful students taking botany as a required course and sleepy students victimized by scientifically correct but vapid textbooks.
(The teacher) . attempts to make his students, or at least gives them the chance, to ask questions of nature. This is an approach which I like very much because I feel that I not only remember more of what is available, but I understand it much better.'
Not every practitioner of Group-Conference Botany had the touch of Sam Dietz in the classroom, but he had full responsibility for his students. This responsibility, together with the atmosphere of discussion, encouraged a teacher to give his best. In 1965, the Oregon Legislature appropriated a half-million dollars for cash awards to out-standing teachers of undergraduates in the Oregon System of Higher Education. Of the 47 $1000 awards made at
Oregon State University in 1966, only four went to out-standing teachers in the biological sciences. All four awards went to botanists, three of whom taught Group-Conference General Botany.
The 32-student classroom made close, friendly guidance possible. Attention sometimes wandered when students seared at tables in groups of four reasoned out possible solutions to a botanical problem, but the instructor could get conversations back on the track with an appropriate question or two.
The only comparison to be made of this course to a lecture-lab course is that it is infinitely better. The atmosphere is casual but nor chaos; the projects are short, meaningful, and simple but challenging: we are not burdened with bumbling and grumpy lab instructors; we have a source of authority.]
Group-Conference Botany, with discussion among students in their groups of four and discussion by the entire class, provided opportunities for students to explain the understanding they had acquired by reading, discovery or insight. Art extra dividend appeared occasionally during these discussions when a student would enlighten his instructor on some point about which the student had special knowledge.
I much prefer the group-discussion to any other teaching method so far. It enables the student to participate in almost every-thing and not feel like he is just a tape recorder.'
The problem of integration currently concerns not only race-relations specialists but biologists as well. The group-conference as taught at Oregon State University integrated biological knowledge by considering together the molecular, cellular. and organismal aspects of life.
For example, when students considered the biochemistry of photosynthesis, they had recently studied the organs, tissues, cells and organelles in which the process occurs. They studied these specifically to learn about photosynthesis. After studying where photosynthesis occurs and what constitutes photosynthesis biochemically. the students were confronted with the problem of how raw materials get to the sites of synthesis, how the products of photosynthesis get to other parts of the plant, and what happens to those products.
Additional integration resulted from the absence of formal lectures given separately from the laboratory classes. When short lectures became necessary (e.g. electron trans-port during terminal oxidation). they integrated with the experiments or problems at hand, a situation seldom achieved in "integrated" courses (i.e. biology courses) taught by the lecture-lab technique.
Presumably, Group-Conference Botany would have integrated well with the Biological Sciences Curriculum Survey courses in high school biology. Students from these courses, accustomed to an inquiry approach. might have responded readily to the group-conference. With its flexible format the group-conference could have taken them as deeply into a biological concept as they wished to go. Further. the group-conference had a built-in mechanism for ascertaining the students' prior knowledge (i.e. verbal responses from students during class) and starting from where that prior knowledge ended. The conventional lecture-laboratory method has no means for learning about the students' prior knowledge and is ilI-adapted to making immediate adjustments to it.
Of the students who have encountered the group-conference, a majority preferred it to the lecture-laboratory arrangement. Nevertheless, some students felt that there were disadvantages.
If the student is the type who is in college just for the "ride" and doesn't care too much about learning even in an interesting class, it will be bad for him because he can't hide behind the crowd.'
Personally I learn more, or I should say, find it easier to have a regular lecture, with notes to study for a lecture test and a separate lab. In a regular lecture facts have to be presented, whereas in this set-up it seems like we are exposed to an idea and must find out the details for ourselves.'
. I definitely prefer the lecture lab because the instructor tells the student that so and so is true and that's it)
A more genuine disadvantage of the group-conference was that it was tough on those who taught it. It was intellectually demanding because the teacher had to forge a rational scheme of knowledge from student responses. It was also physically demanding for those who taught more than one class because each class met for two unbroken hours. But the effort seemed worthwhile in this day when students question old academic procedures.
It is perhaps a sign of the times in America's larger "universities" that of the three award-winning practitioners of Group-Conference Botany, none remains at Oregon State. Similarly, the group-conference has been replaced by the traditional lecture and laboratory approach. One wonders whether the student whose remarks follow would interpret this resumption of the traditional approach as progress.
in the lecture-lab type instruction the purpose of doing the lab is to finish the prescribed method of experimentation and answer all the required questions, and that is all. At least this is the student's purpose whether the lab instructor knows it or not. In this conference type method the students have no such easy way out. We must pay attention. Our object here is to learn what's happening in the plant and not to finish a pre-scribed method . . . In the conference type method we are given the responsibility to learn something about the plant and not to merely answer some lab questions. The difference may seem insignificant at first but believe me it's not. It's the difference between a parrot and a thinking human mind.t
NOTES FROM THE. EDITOR
Dr. Stern's article, "Quo Vadis, Botanicum?" that appeared in the June 1969 issue, continues to attract comment. Two strong dissenting views were published in our last issue, but before these appeared Dr. Stern received a number of letters from people who concurred with his point of view. He has sent me copies of these letters, and has asked me to "attempt an editorial summary of them at the same time respecting authors' confidences." It appears to me that the best way to do this would be to extract what I think are pertinent sections of these letters. Here they are:
. . . want enthusiastically to commend you for your forthright summary, on paper, of the frustrations and plight of good botanists in biology departments everywhere. I would like to think that this trend toward uniting Botany and Zoology departments can he reversed, by hard work and proper education of adminisstrations and the public through an aroused program carefully developed by the botanists themselves. Locally, the .. . botanists
look forward to a separate Botany department within three years, after ten years of simply outworking and out-teaching the zoologists in control of the department, and gradually altering the ratio of zoologists to botanists from 7 to 1 to 2 to 1.
I want to cheer for your article in the Plant Science Bulletin, the June issue. We are all indebted to you for your reasonable and succinct approach to the problem facing all botanists. I was especially pleased with your call to battle concept. It is high time each botanist starts clearing his thought concerning the discipline. There is too much apologizing and not enough pointing with pride to significant progress in the field. Part of our troubles rest entirely with ourselves in not standing up for our rights, in not emphasizing, as you have, the difference between Botany and other disciplines, the difference between plants and other organisms.
I was ... a member of a department that was scuttled exactly in the manner you outlined. . . . It has been a great tragedy to see the Department of Botany at . go the same way. .
You have made a very good case for us, but I am wondering if there is more we ought to do? The American Chemical Society has, for many years, dictated to colleges and universities what they ought to do about the chemistry curriculum. It seems to me that the Botanical Society ought to have some sort of a committee which can arrange to be more aggressive in communicating to the university administrators most of the items you have in your paper. . It is the blindness and arrogance of so many of our molecularly oriented colleagues, as well as their pro-found ignorance of the significance of Botany, which we have to fight.
I . . . strongly support your contention that the submersion of the science of botany in a general biological mishmash does not increase the student's understanding of biology, but definitely detracts him from grasping the specific phenomena of the plant world. It leads to an overemphasis of zoological concepts to the point to an almost complete extinction of botanical knowledge, but for that matter does not produce better zoologists either. .. . The reason . . . for this deplorable state of affairs is in my
opinion . a shortcut to ecology . . . the interrelationships
between plants and animals . requires a. comprehensive know-ledge of both botany and zoology and can never be mastered by those who have acquired some knowledge of biological facts such as "molecular-biology," whatever that should mean, on an under-graduate level. These facts are neither properly assimilated nor adequately metabolized and this is the reason why so much undigested stuff is written about pollution control and so little done about it.
Hurray for your editorial, "Quo Vadis, Botanicum?" . . . I op-posed the establishment of the Biology Department at . . . most vigorously indeed. . I told Joe that the department would become zoological; that it always went zoological; and that he
would reduce the broadening of the science impact at . by
when I was at . College . . . shortly after the war visiting
Professor , the distinguished head of the Botany Department. . . . His department was crowded like I have never seen a Botany Department crowded. I looked across the quadrangle and there was a big building and on the stone above the door it
said, "Botany Department." I casually asked Professor . what was in the building labeled "Botany Department" and he told me . . . "the Zoology Department."
You have put into words what many of us have observed and felt for a long time. I think it is high time that botanists begin to exhibit pride in their discipline and profession and counter-act this move toward biology. Your observation that biology almost always means a drift toward zoology and human physiology is most accurate. I hope your statement will stir up botanists and initiate some action.
Our difficulty starred many years ago with the initiation of AIBS. We, at that time, should have stood for a plant science organization divorced from the animal sciences, quite like physics is divorced from chemistry. I knew at the time when we at-tempted to cooperate and probably be "palsy-walsy" with the
zoologists we would have difficulty. . . . CUEBS has not helped our case. They are headstrong, young men wanting to please everybody, especially the administrators and politicians, and do not care too much for plant sciences . there is some ray of hope in a few quarters because several schools are switching back to beginning general botany and beginning zoology courses. They have tired of the confusion and imbalance. May this tendency continue and lift us out of chaos.
I was forced to accept a union at . . . College resulting in in-creased faculty, space, equipment for zoology. My requisitions for small items like 15( worth of red beets had to wait until we could find the head of Biology to sign. . . . A new seminar in biology was created and an attempt was made to force all biofaculty to attend when more than half the subjects were zoological.
You are so right that the thesis which supports the union of botany and zoology, because they are both biological, "is a deceptive proposition." I think it has been largely a movement by administrators who do not have enough information to know that the facts against far outweigh those for their program. Of course the two are related intimately but on that basis many undesirable unions could be made in our Educational curricular organization. . . .
Just a note of appreciation for your fine article in the Plant Science Bulletin. . . . My only commentary would be that from my observation many of the problems stem from the attitude of the botanists themselves. Many times they deserve what they get. Calling attention to the situation, as you have done so well in your article, may serve to hearten our "weak sisters" or at least give them some confidence. More articles like this should be written and perhaps a symposium held on the subject at some AIBS meeting.
I was very much interested in the lead article by Dr. William Stern. It points out many instances relative to my own situation at . . College. I am not a "true" botanist as I have more credits, I believe, in the zoological area and have taught various courses. However under our new curriculum I am the sole "botanist" and am frequently frustrated with the fact that few persons feel that Botany is important and get little support in this area.
There is one point of a minor nature on which I have a few comments of relevance to your article. You refer to the study of the quality of graduate education in the U.S. by A.M. Carrter in 1966. This report was of interest to us at . because we were among those departments cited as outstanding after Harvard, California et at. As I recall, Caltech was listed also as having an outstanding Botany department which struck me as being incongruous and considerably wide of the mark! Am I not correct?
NEWS AND NOTES
Torrey Pines Extension Campaign
Dr. William H. Thomas of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography calls our attention and asks our support in this campaign for funds to extend the acreage of the Torrey Pines State Park, located just north of San Diego, California. Only about half of the some 6,000 trees in the mainland stand of this species is under the protection of the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Approximately 4$1,500,-000 is needed to purchase 170 acres of privately owned land contiguous with the existing reserves; some 1,500 trees are in this acreage. The State of California has appropriated $900,000 toward the purchase, but the balance of $600,000 must be obtained by June 1970 from other sources. Contributions should be sent to Torrey Pines Association Land Fund, P.O. Box 104, La Jolla, California 92037. Further information may be obtained by writing to the Association at this same address.
Mountain Lake Biological Station
The Mountain Lake Biological Station of the University of Virginia announces the following botanical courses emphasizing primarily field biology will be offered during the summer of 1970:
Fief/ Term—June 10 through July 14
Algology: Dr. Francis B. Trainor, University of Connecticut Taxonomy of Seed Plants: Dr. A. Murray Evans, University of Tennessee
Second Term—July 16 through August 18
Pteridology: Dr. Warren H. Wagner, Jr.. University of Michigan
Financial assistance from the National Science Foundation is available. Applications should be made to the Director, Mountain Lake Biological Station, Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903 be-fore May 1, 1970.
Water Color Paintings Loaned to Hunt Botanical Library
A $75,000 collection of original water color paintings focusing on American trees and their ecology has been loaned to Carnegie-Mellon University's Hunt Botanical Library for an indefinite period.
The unique works, executed by Swiss artist Jack Kunz for an advertising program initiated by the Sr. Regis Paper Company in 1965, were turned over to Carnegie-Mellon at ceremonies in Hunt Botanical Library on June 11.
Presenting the collection was William R. Adams, president of the firm. Dr. H. Guyford Stever. president of Carnegie-Mellon, accepted the art.
Dr. Stever said that the event is one of the first examples of a corporate leader recognizing the continuing educational value of its advertising art, and expressed the hope that other corporations would recognize that such collections "far transcend the primary use for which they were created . . . and will be placed in this and other institutions where the dual objective of continued use and of preservation for posterity are assured."
The 25 paintings, which will .go on public display October, 1970, portray trees indigenous to the U.S., their growth, structure, history, reproduction, and influences on and by their environment. They were prepared originally for a nation-wide advertising program designed to promote interest in the kinds of trees in this country, in timber and forestry, conservation, and in the role of all these factors play in the production of paper, and paper products.
Mr. Adams pointed out that the ad campaign was established in recognition of his company's responsibility for eight million acres of forest lands upon which the nation depends heavily for aesthetic as well as practical reasons.
George H. M. Lawrence, director of the Hunt Botanical Library, noted that the works have contributed to increased knowledge about trees among school children, university students, teachers, the business and financial community, and consumers.
The artist, Mr. Kunz, is presently executive editor of Graphis, a graphics and applied arts publication in Zurich, Switzerland. His work is well known in this country and has been featured in Life, National Geographic, and American Heritage.
Awards Presented at the Botanical Society's Banquet
The JEANETTE SIRON PELTON AWARD, recently established by the Conservation and Research Foundation to recognize exceptionally imaginative published contributions in the field of Experimental Plant Morphology, was awarded co Ralph H. Wetmore, Emeritus Professor of Botany, Harvard University. Professor Wetmore thus be-came the first person to be honored by this award, which carries a stipend of one thousand dollars. The citation made with the Award to Professor Wetmore included the following statement: "The quality of his long and distinguished career has been characterized by his ability to ask significant morphogenetic questions that have kept pace with the fantastic growth of this field over the past 40 years. By the successful employment of cytological. microsurgical, biochemical and tissue culture techniques he has made important contributions to plant development, and because of his broad perspective, these contributions have had especial evolutionary significance. His enthusiasm, devotion to the quest. and most generous patience with the many students who have struggled with him—these qualities have made hint a great teacher; and we wish to salute him."
The DARBAKER PRIZE awarded annually for meritorious work in microscopical algae was divided between Isabella A. Abbott (Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, California) for her taxonomic and morphological studies of marine red algae of the Pacific northwest coast of North America, and Norma J. Lang (Department of Botany, University of California, Davis) for her studies in the blue-green algae, especially the ultrastructure of vegetative cells and heterocysts in the filamentous forms. Each received certificates, and checks in the amount of 8165.
The JESSE M. GREENMAN AWARD, established in 1968 by the Alumni Association of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and awarded annually for the best doctorate thesis in plant systematics published during the preceding year, was awarded to Clifford M. Wetmore of the Biology Department of Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa. Dr. Wetmore's paper on "Lichens of the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming" was published in the Publications of the Museum, Michigan State University, Biological Series Volume 3, Number 4.
The NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN AWARD was presented to R. William Breidenbach, Albert Kahn and Harry Beevers for their paper from the Purdue University laboratories entitled, "Characterization of glyoxysomes from castor bean endosperm," published in Plant Physiology 43: 705-713. 1968. In presenting this award, Dr. W. C. Sreere, Executive Director of the New York Botanical
Garden, stated, in part: "We believe this paper is of lasting importance and represents an outstanding advance in the plant sciences. It has already stimulated a considerable amount of research and its impact will continue to be felt in the fields of ulrrastructure, cytology, plant biochemistry and plant physiology."
The HENRY ALLAN GLEASON AWARD of the New York Botanical Garden, presented annually to the author of an outstanding recent publication in botany—usually plant taxonomy, phytogeography, or ecology, was presented to Charles B. Heiser, Jr. of Indiana University, with the following citation: "To Charles Bixler Heiser, Jr. The New York Botanical Garden presents its Henry Allan Gleason Award for outstanding botanical publication. Dr. Heiser's professional career has been filled with achievements of many different kinds and the New York Botanical Garden takes great pleasure in making the present award for a recent major contribution to botanical literature, 'The North American Sunflowers (Helianthu_s),' published in the Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club in 1969. The award is based also on Dr. Heiser's book, The Paradoxical Nightshades, which, although not yet published, is in page proof.' In a sense, then, this is a dual award for two major publications in two different plant families, in the same year!"
The annual MERIT AWARDS of the Botanical Society of America were presented to four distinguished recipients, as follows:
Armin C. Braun, for his many significant studies on tumor inception and development in plants.
John R. Raper, for his demonstration of sex hormones in aquatic fungi and work on genetics of the Agaricales.
Jacob R. Schramm, for his very thoughtful studies of the ecology of the black mining wastes of the Pennsylvania anthracite region.
Alexander H. Smith, for his prodigious work on the classification and ecology of the Agaricales.
Criteria and Terminology in Fungi Imperfecti
Twenty mycologists from eight countries assembled at the University of Calgary's Environmental Sciences Center, at Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada, September 5 through 9, 1969, for the first International Specialists' Workshop-Conference on Criteria and Terminology in Fungi Imperfecti. It is hoped that, after intensive discussions of conidium ontogeny and other characteristics of these fungi, a useful set of concepts and definitions will be agreed upon, and the course of future research on these fungi indicated. Proceedings of the Conference will be published as soon as possible. W. Bryce Kendrick served as Convenor and Chairman. Mycologists attending: G. C. Bhatt, G. C. Carroll, W. B. Cooke, M. B. Ellis, R. D. Goos. G. C. Hughes, T. R. NagRaj, K. A. Pirozynski, V. V. Subramanian, J. W. Carmichael, G. T. Cole, J. L. Crane, A. Funk, G. L. Hennebert, S. J. Hughes, E. Muller, J. Nicot, F. G. Pollack, K. Tubaki.
1 Has now been published, by W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco.
Minutes of the Business Meeting
President: Lincoln Constance, University of California, Berkeley
Vice-President: Richard C. Starr, Indiana University Secretary: Barbara Palser, Rutgers University
Program Director: Sam Postlethwaite, Purdue University Member of the Editorial Board: Harlan Banks, Cornell University
To amend Article II, Section (d) concerning Corresponding Members from The number of such members shall be limited to forty" to read "The number of such members shall be limited to fifty."
The amendment was approved unanimously by the member-ship present.
The Secretary pointed out that his office continued to distribute two publications of the Society. The GUIDE TO GRADUATE STUDY IN THE PLANT SCIENCES IN THE UNITED STATES 1968 contains information on the faculties, doctoral theses of students, etc. at 105 departments offering the Ph.D. degree in some area of the plant sciences. This GUIDE is available from his office at the cost of $3.00. The careers booklet BOTANY AS A PROFESSION is serving as an excellent account of the opportunities in Botany for the young student. Quantities of 1 to 3 are available without charge upon requests by anyone; larger quantities are charged at the rate of 8.25 per copy. Re-prints of the booklet cost the Society $.17 each and so the extra income from the occasional sales of larger quantities pays in part the postal charges for mailing the free copies.
Joji Ashida, Professor Emeritus of Botany, Kyoto University, Japan
Roger Buvat, Professor of Plant Cytology, University of Marseilles, France
Mikhail Kristoforavich Chailakhian, Professor and Head of the Laboratory for Growth and Development, Timiriazev Insrintte of Plant Physiology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Moscow
Runar Collander, Professor Emeritus of Botany, University of Helsinki, Finland
Richard Eric Hottum, Director-Emeritus of the Singapore Botanical Gardens and active research at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, England
Pierre Martens, Professor Emeritus at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium
Wilhelm Troll, Professor Emeritus at the University of Mainz, Germany
Hans Adolph von Stosch, Professor at the University of Mar-burg, Germany
The entire slate of names was approved unanimously. This raised the total of living corresponding members to 45, the limit being 50 as determined by the amendment to the By-Laws passed earlier in the meeting.
The President complimented the Editor on the special issue of the Journal which was issued in recognition of the XIrh Inter-national Botanical Congress and which contains papers by Corresponding members.
The membership approved unanimously a motion to thank Dr. Heimsch for his service to the Society during these past years as Editor.
President Banks pointed out that for the first time in many years the Society finds itself with an excess in funds which can be devoted to new activities. He asked that the membership think of ways in which such funds might be used to further the aims of the Society.
Dr. Bell also talked for a few minutes on the National Biological Congress being organized by the A.I.B.S. in Detroit in November 1970. There was considerable discussion from the floor as to the purpose and plans of the Congress. The Botanical Society will organize a symposium dealing with some aspect of plants and society; suggestions for the symposium should be sent to Dr. Richard Goodwin who will organize the program for the Society.
"The Botanical Society of America directs its Secretary to express its appreciation to President Odegaard of the University of Washington for the hospitality shown the Society during the Botanical Congress, and to express special thanks to our local representative Dr. Weston Blaser; without his help the Annual Dinner would not have been possible."
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
Richard C. Starr, Secretary
BOTANICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA, INC.
PRESIDENT: Lincoln Constance Department of Botany University of California Berkeley, California 94704
VICE-PRESIDENT: Richard C. Starr Department of Botany Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana 47401
SECRETARY: Barbara F. Falser (1970-74) Department of Botany Rutgers University
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903
TREASURER: Theodore Delevoryas (1968. 72)
Department of Biology
New Haven, Connecticut 06520
PROGRAM DIRECTOR: S. N. Postlethwait (1970-72)
Department of Biological Science
Lafayette, Indiana 47907
EDITORIAL COMMITTEE: Leonard Machlis (1968-70) Department of Botany University of California Berkeley, California 94720
Harold C. Bold (1969-71) Department of Botany University of Texas
Austin, Texas 78712
Harlan P. Banks (1970-72) Div. of Biological Sciences 214 Plant Science Building Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14850
EDITOR, Norman H. Bake
AMERICAN University of Oklahoma
JOURNAL OF BOTANY: Department of Plant Sciences Norman, Oklahoma 73069
EDITOR, Adolph Hecht
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN: Department of Botany Washington State University Pullman, Washington 99163
BUSINESS MANAGER, Lawrence J. Crockett
AMERICAN The City College
JOURNAL OF BOTANY: University of the City of New York
Convent Avenue & 139th St. New York, New York 1003i
SECTIONAL OFFICERS AND COUNCIL MEMBERS
* (Those persons so marked with an (* ) are members of the Council. The Council also includes the Officers of the Society except those elected to the Editorial Committee.)
PAST PRESIDENT, 1969: *Harlan P. Banks
Div. of Biological Sciences 214 Plant Science Building Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14850
PAST PRESIDENT, 1968: ` Arthur Galston Department of Biology
New Haven, Connecticut 06520
PAST PRESIDENT, 1967: *Ralph Emerson
Department of Botany University of California Berkeley, California 94720
Chairman (1970) : *Ian Sussex
Department of Biology Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut 06520
Vice-Chairman (1970): Richard M. Klein Department of Botany University of Vermont Burlington, Vermont 05401
Secretary (1970) : William T. Jackson
Dept. of Biological Sciences Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755
Chairman (1970): Richard H. Eyde Department of Botany Smithsonian Institute Washington, D.C. 20560
Vice-Chairman (1970): Charles H. Uhl
Div. of Biological Sciences Plant Science Building Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14850
Secretary-Treasurer (1970) : `'David Bierhorst
Department of Botany University of Massachusetts Amherst, Masschusetts 01002
Chairman (1970 ) : Edmund Berkeley Department of Biology University of North Carolina Greensboro, North Carolina
Vice-Chairman (1970): Emanuel D. Rudolph Dept. of Botany & Plant Pathology
Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio 43210
Secretary-Treasurer (1970) : Jerry W. Stannard Medizinhistorisches Institut
53 Bonn—Venusberg Annaberger Weg Germany
Chairman (1970) : Roger D. Goos Department of Botany University of Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Vice-Chairman (1970): Jack D. Rogers
Dept. of Plant Pathology Washington State University Pullman, Washington 99163
Secretary (1970) : John E. Peterson
Department of Botany University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri 65201
Representative to the Council
(1970) : Annette Hervey
New York Botanical Garden Bronx Park
New York, New York 10058 Representative to AJB
Editorial Board (1970) : Clark Rogerson
New York Botanical Garden Bronx Park
New York, New York 10058
Chairman (1970): James Canright Department of Botany Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 85821
Secretary-Treasurer (1970): "John W. Hall
Department of Botany University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota
Secretary (1970) : 'Philip Cook
Department of Botany University of Vermont Burlington, Vermont 05401
Secretary (1970) : *Graeme P. Berlyn School of Forestry Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut
Chairman (1970): *Tom J. Mabry
Department of Botany The University of Texas Austin, Texas 78712
Vice-Chairman (1970) : Rainer W. Scot-a
Dept. of Horticultural Science
University of California Riverside, California 92502
Secretary-Treasurer (1970) : Jerry McClure Department of Botany Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45406
Chairman (1970): *John Beaman
Department of Botany Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan
Secretary (1970) : L. I. Nevling, Jr. Gray Herbarium
Arnold Arboretum Harvard University 22 Divinity Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts
Chairman (1970): J. Louis Martens Department of Biology Illinois State University Normal, Illinois 61761
Vice-Chairman (1970) : Orie J. Eigsti
Department of Biology Chicago State College 6800 South Stewart Chicago, Illinois 60621
Secretary (1970) : *Irving W. Knobloch Dept. of Botany & Plant Pathology
Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 48823
Chairman (1970) : *Betty Thompson Department of Botany Connecticut College
New London, Connecticut 06320
Secretary-Treasurer (1970) : Robert K. Zuck
Department of Botany Drew University
Madison, New Jersey 07940
Chairman (1970): Kenton Chambers Botany Department
Oregon State University Corvallis, Oregon 97331
Vice-Chairman (1970) : Daniel Branton
Department of Botany University of California Berkeley, California 94 704
Secretary-Treasurer (1970) : *Elizabeth G. Cutter Department of Botany University of California Davis, California 95616
Representative (1970) : Arthur Spurr
Department of Vegetable Crops
University of California Davis, California 95616
Chairman (1970) : Robert W. Long
Dept. of Botany & Bacteriology
University of South Florida Tampa, Florida 33620
Secretary-Treasurer (1970) : 'Dorothy L. Crandall Bliss Department of Biology Randolph-Macon Woman's
Lynchburg, Virginia 24504
KARL ESSER AND RUDOLF KUENEN. Genetics of Fungi.
Translated from the German edition (1965) by Erich Steiner with revisions by the authors. Springer Verlag, New York, 1967. ix + 500 pp. + 74 figures. 18.50.
The fungi provide a unique array of genetic systems which offer the advantages of microorganisms. They have rapid life cycles, easily manipulated populations and mating events producing a large number of progeny, and provide material suitable for physiological and biochemical study. They also offer the advantages of higher organ-isms, having chromosomes, sexual reproduction, complete and often ordered products of meiosis, and alteration of haploid and diploid phases. The authors of Genetics of Fungi conclude, "the geneticist experiments with the fungi, not for their own sake, but rather, because the fungi, along with the bacteria and viruses, are suited for the solution of many of the problems of molecular genetics." The translation of this monograph into English has made easily accessible a valuable summary of genetic research on fungi and a description of some approaches to the problems of molecular genetics.
The book has two great assets—its organization and its thoroughness. Too few monographs of this scope are organized in as logical and readable manner. The table of contents is a Iisting of seven chapters: Morphology, Reproduction, Replication, Recombination, Mutation, Function, and Extrachromosomal Inheritance. Each chapter is introduced with a detailed outline, a summary, and a list of general references. Definitions and preliminary descriptions are included in the introductions where they are needed. The subject of each chapter is clearly subdivided into topics and subtopics with further subdivision where appropriate. The authors have interspersed summaries throughout the book usually appearing after detailed topics and subtopics. The practice of enumerating problems and conclusions in the text will make the book very useful to the inexperienced geneticist. The thoroughness of the
authors in compiling this monograph is underscored by the references listed at the end of each chapter. The literature through 1965 is thoroughly reviewed in the text and listed with the complete title for each reference. Most references to 1967 are appended to the reference lists in the translation with the exception of those for the chapter on replication which are not included.
The book reads well and has been translated into idiomatic English. The use of critical readers to review the translation has made certain the book contains genetic terms now in common use. The uniform style of illustration employed by the publisher makes the sequential presentation of data from many publications in tables and figures easy on the eye and easy to comprehend. The authors state that the book is not designed as a text for an advanced genetics course, yet the organization, the thoroughness, and the clarity of text and illustration make the book useful for an advanced course in genetics.
The rapid advance in investigation in some of the areas covered in the book has served to make certain parts of the book so out-of-date they are erroneous. Most notable in this regard is the chapter on function in which some discussions are only of historical interest. This reviewer hopes the authors will revise and update this monograph to make it even more valuable. In its present form it is still an essential part of any geneticist's library. John M. Hill, Jr.
Systematic Biology, Proceeding's of an International Conference. Publication 1962. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. 1969. S15.00.
In 1965 the Division of Biology and Agriculture of the National Research Council brought together nine systematists, with Lincoln Constance as chairman, to discuss what might be done to further the interests of systematic biology. One of the results of this meeting was an international conference which was held at the University of Michigan in June, 1967. A number of speakers and discussants were invited and a great many different aspects of systematic biology were covered. The principal contributions of botanists were A Historical Review of Systematic Biology by Frans A. Stafleu, The Construction of a Classification by Warren H. Wagner, Jr., The Systematics of Populations in Plants by Robert Ornduff, Ecological Aspects of the Systematics of Plants by A. R. Kruckebcrg, Molecular Data in Plant Systematics by Juan H. Hunziker, and Comparative Cytology in Systematics by Harlan Lewis. In a sense, however. it is most inappropriate to single out the contributions of the botanists, for one of the great virtues of the conference was the bringing together of bacteriologists, biochemists, botanists, zoologists and others to share their views on the subject of systematics. Certainly one of the highlights of the meeting must have been the roundtable discussion of molecular biology. Since most systematists in the United States were invited to the conference and are probably already aware of the publication of the proceedings, perhaps the chief purpose of this review is to call the book to the attention of botanists in fields other than systematics. For those who have had no training in systematics or had a course in
the subject some years ago, this work should serve as an excellent summary of present developments in the field as well as acquaint them with some of the hopes for the future. I have one minor criticism of the work. There is no index.
Charles B. Heiser, Jr.
JACKSON, BETTY P. AND DEREK W. SNOWDON. Powdered Vegetable Drugs. An Agar of Microscopy for use in the Identification and Authentication of some Plant Materials employed as Medicinal Agents. American Elsevier Publishing Company, Inc., New York. 1969. 203 pages, 99 plates. $11.50.
The title and subtitle aptly describe this work. About one hundred drugs are described and microscopic details of No. 60 grade powders are well illustrated by line drawings in full-page plates. Some drugs not in powder form, e.g., senna pods and lemon peel, are omitted but others, of special interest, such as Indian Hemp and hops, are included. The drugs are grouped as follows: starches, wood (one species), barks and galls, leaves and herbs, flowers, seeds, fruits, umbelliferous fruits, and rhizomes and roots. Within a group an alphabetical order is followed. A diagnostic key to the drugs is not given, nor is there any reference to current uses. On the whole the treatment appears to be clear and accurate. However, there are some minor cases of uncertainty. For example, galls arc described as having "lignin bodies," i.e., small, apparently noncellular masses reacting with phloroglucinol reagent. These are probably tannin sacs; the authors find tannins in the gall material but only in an n-hexanol mount in which they are angular fragments. Undoubtedly this book should serve as the chief source of vegetable drug microscopy for pharmacognosy. It will be an important adjunct to the teaching of plant anatomy.
20th Century Botanical Art & Illustration, Catalogue 2nd International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration, 20 October 1968 to .15 April 1969, compiled by George H. M. Lawrence. Hunt Botanical Library. Pittsburgh. 55.00. (Distributed by Stechert-Hafner Service Agency, Inc., 31 E. 10th Street, New York, New York 10003).
This handsome little book, which bears a striking color reproduction of Elsa Felsko's Fritillaria imperialis on the cover, is evidence that good botanical art is far from dead in our time. The 126 artists whose work is included pre-sent us with a great diversity of styles and media. This diversity created some problems for the engraver and printer with the result that some fine lines were lost in a few of the small halftone reproductions but the loss is not serious. Likenesses of all artists but one are included with biographical sketches and a precise address. As a botanist, I am prejudiced for those figures which deal with the plants in full realistic detail, but the generalized studies of identifiable plants (all) are esthetically pleasing and appropriate for greeting cards or hanging. One can scarcely evaluate an artistic exhibit from miniature halftones but some finer essences seep through. Hunt
Botanical Library is congratulated for guarding an important portion of our botanical heritage being neglected elsewhere. Accordingly, I join the compiler in inviting botanical artists to submit some of their work and a biographical sketch co the increasingly significant holdings of the Hunt Library.
Registrants for the XI International Botanical Congress received a considerably revised and somewhat shortened paperbound edition. As it lacks considerable introductory material, includes fewer artists and some different, as well as fewer, illustrations, interested botanists will find it worthwhile to have the modestly priced hardbound edition even if they have a Congress copy.
H. A. Miller
GRANT, KAREN A., AND VERNE GRANT. Hummingbirds and Their Flowers. Columbia University Press, New York and London. 1968. .vii + 115 pages. 30 colored plates. S17.50.
In size, format, and handsomeness of production this book is a fraternal twin to the earlier publication by these authors, Flower Pollination in the Phlox Family. This time their theme is the parallel evolution displayed in some 18 plant families in the western United States, of a "floral syndrome" adapted, usually in a highly specific way, to pollination by hummingbirds. AIthough hummingbirds are predominantly tropical and have their greatest species diversity in Central and South America, the breeding rang-es of a small number of migratory species are in Arizona, California and adjacent states. The Grants choose to limit themselves to this marginal area of hummingbird distribution, no doubt because their personal research and field observations have concentrated on the flora of the South-west. One can object, therefore, that the title of the book goes well beyond its scope. On the other hand, the pat-terns of evolutionary relationship—that is, coadaptation of birds and plants—are much simpler here than in the American tropics, and may lend themselves better to the kind of general, theoretical discussion which the authors wish to emphasize.
In the area of North America west of the Rockies and north of Mexico, there are about I1 species of humming-birds and at least 129 plant species whose flowers are adapted primarily for feeding of and pollination by these birds. The floral syndome is a familiar one: red or orange coloration is combined with a long, stout corolla rube or spur, abundant nectar, and synchronous flowering. Successful pollinations on the most specialized of such flowers are performed almost exclusively by hummingbirds; how-ever, there is no one-to-one correspondence of particular bird species to plant species, and the bird-flowers as a group are coadaptcd with all the flower-visiting birds. Although research on the problem is still in the descriptive natural history stage, there are certain other characteristics that require explanation, as pointed out by the authors. For example, species with an annual habit very rarely possess the bird-flower syndrome. If we neglect the large genus Castilleja (Paintbrush), which is almost entirely bird-adapted, the species with hummingbird flowers are mostly a small number of odd-balls in Iarge, boreal, insect-pollinated genera. Or alternatively, they are small, specialized generic offshoots. (e.g., Zauschneria from Epilobium, Diplacus from Mininlus). Furthermore, sympatric flocks of hummingbird-flowered species occur only in late blooming, high mountain floras; at middle and low elevations, only one or two bird-pollinated species exist in each area, and they are earlier to .flower. Hypotheses to explain these facts are presented by the authors, and one expects that such problems will attract greater attention from population biologists in the future.
The book's colored illustrations are enlarged photo-graphs of habitats, floral types, and birds, some of the latter being rather repetitious. It will be helpful if further studies of bird pollination involve collaboration between botanists and ornithologists. Even such alert naturalists as Karen and Verne Grant cannot be expected to know all the details of bird ecology and behavior that will be pertinent to the explanation of the many fascinating problems to which this book introduces us.
Kenton L. Chambers
R. A. JAYNES (Editor). Handbook of North American
Nit Trees. The Northern Nut Growers Association
(4518 Holston Hills Road, Knoxville, Tennessee),
1969. vii+421 pages, $7.50.
This book is concerned with the many kinds of nut trees that are grown in North America, and it brings together a great deal of information involved in the techniques and problems of cultivating the trees. The emphasis is on nut production for human consumption, but extensive in-formation is given concerning lumber production, use of the tree as an ornamental, and as a source of food for wildlife. The book should provide a valuable reference for amateurs as well as professionals. It consists of 32 chapters written by specialists, and is divided into four parrs.
Part I—consists of a short introduction devoted to the history and potential of nut trees as a food source.
Parr II—approximately one-third of the book covers the culture and propagation of nut trees. A number of propagation techniques arc described, and information concerning pruning, mulching, herbicides, soil management, and the control of various plant pests is provided.
Part III—discusses the nut trees that are grown in North America. The authors give the natural range of the species, how and when they were introduced into cultivation in North America, their commercial development, the climatic factors necessary for growth, cultivation practices, and the commonly grown horticultural forms and varieties.
Part IV—includes numerous unrelated topics such as the potential of nut production for wildlife, the improved breeding of nut trees, and the judging of nut crops.
The editor's work must have been as varied as the subjects covered. Some of the subjects were done by him alone; some in collaboration with others. Other parts of the book were written by specialists. The book is a very good example of well-planned teamwork which involved the collaboration of numerous botanists.
John E. Ebinger
KARL MARAMORSCH (Editor) . Viruses, Vectors, and V egetation. Interscience Publishers, New York, 1969. $29.50.
Virus, Vectors, and Vegetation is a welcome addition to the growing Iist of multiauthored texts derived from international conferences or symposia. The general frame-work of the book originated from the United States-japan Conference on Interactions between Arthropods and Plant-Pathogenic Viruses held in Tokyo in 1.965. However, the scope of the book extends well beyond that of the conference. In addition to chapters by the original conference participants covering the many facets of aphid and leaf-hopper vector relationships, the book contains excellent chapters on fungi, nematodes, white flies and mites as vectors. Nearly every aspect of virus-vector-plant relation-ships is covered in one or more of the 29 chapters. Some of the chapters deal largely with previously unpublished data, others with evaluation of recent literature and still others with historical development of a subject. "It was the Editor's intent," according to editor Maramorsch, "to provide readers interested in one particular aspect with a self-contained chapter describing that subject." The book clearly achieves its stated purpose, namely "to provide a stimulating forum for discussion of new ideas and observations in plant-virus-vector research." Despite the rather substantial initial investment, Viruses, Vectors, and Vegetation should be a useful reference book for researchers, teachers and students for many years.
FREUDENBERG, K. AND A. C. NEISH. Constitution and Biosynthesis of Lignin. (Vol. 2 in the series, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics.) Springer-Verlag, New York, Inc., 1968. 129 pp. $7.00.
If there have been biochemical problems as refractory as those involved with proteins, the elucidation of lignin synthesis, structure, and degradation must be so ranked. Lignin as it exists in the walls of xylem and sclerified cells of vascular plants is bonded to carbohydrates and is by no means readily extracted. It varies in chemical constitution of the polymerized units between species and major groups; chemically it cannot be depicted by a single formula; we probably should speak of lignins. Despite the formidable difficulties work during the past 50 years has led to an essential understanding of the major pathways of lignin synthesis and of the chief variables in its structure. Freudenberg has been intimately associated with the development of current concepts during this period.
The book consists of two sections, the first, Monomeric Intermediates in the Biosynthesis of Lignin by Arthur C. Neish (pp. 1-43), and second, the Constitution and Biosynthesis of Lignin by Karl Freudenberg (pp. 45-129). Neish outlines the evidence supporting the path-way for lignin synthesis as being: carbohydrates—>shikimic acid—3phenylalanine+cinnamic acid derivatives-cinnamyl alcohol derivatives+lignin; he points out that in some species, e.g., in grasses, tyrosine can serve as the pre-cursor for cinnamic acid derivatives. In a discussion of evolutionary relationships he indicates that although micro- organisms lack lignin they do possess pathways for phenylalanine and tyrosine synthesis similar or identical to those of higher plants; thus the evolutionary acquisition of only a few enzymes could have led to the formation of lignin—and of xylary tissue—essential for the origin of vascular plants.
Freudenberg gives an 'excellent account—in part some-what anecdotal—of the history of lignin research with a few side excursions on related matters such as his role in developing a model of cellulose structure. It is natural that the emphasis is on his own work and that of his associates. He reviews the past and present difficulties in isolating the stuff called lignin and proceeds to the various efforts leading to the identification of the various lignin components, their proportions in lignins from various sources, and the chemical structures found. Part I deals with the constitution of lignin, part II, to the degradation products and proposals for a suitable formula, taking into account the varying proportions of cinnamyl alcohol substituents.
In all the book is well written, interesting, and has extensive bibliographies. The omission of most work on the enzymology may be disappointing to some but in my opinion is not serious. In view of the difficulties inherent in this field one can only marvel at the tenacity of Freudenberg, during his academic career, and of others, in making such a good treatise possible.
NEILSON-JONES, W. Plant Chimeras, Second Edition. Methuen & Co. Ltd. London, 1969. viii+123 pp. $4.00.
In updating his 1934 edition, the author has made many changes in form and content of his monograph. Although some 33 of the references in the bibliography of this second edition are new, the total number of references cited here is about seven less than were used in the first edition. For reasons that he presents on page 1, the author has changed his spelling from "chimaera" to "chimera." The title of the first edition was "Plant Chimaeras and Graft Hybrids." The new edition also considers the graft hybrid hypothesis, and similarly dismisses it for lack of convincing evidence. This present edition, like the original, considers Baur's basic work with Pelargonium, Winkler's experiments with Solanum, and Jorgensen and Crane's further studies with this latter genus. The second edition then reviews the various anatomical analyses by Satina and Blakeslee, and Dermen, who were aided by the use of colchicine in obtaining chromosome number differences among adjacent layers of tissues. Some of the illustrations are the same as those in the first edition, others have been modified, and several new ones added. Unfortunately a plate of borrowed photomicrographs, which was not too clear as originally published, has suffered further in the reproduction. The statement on pages 108-9, "These apical meristems . . . are capable of initiating any kind of mature tissue of which the plant has need . . ." implies an improbable teleology. In general the volume is clearly written, and the format and typography of the new edition presents a considerable improvement.