Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1971 v17 No 3 Fall
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
September 1971 Vol. 17 No. 3
The Uses of Diversity Lincoln Constance 22
The Uses of Diversity1
When my unexpected designation as president of the Botanical Society of America for 1970 was announced, one of my colleagues remarked that the greatest service I could perform for American botany would be to abolish the annual post-prandial President's address. A second colleague warned me that whatever I had to say, if I insisted upon complying with tradition by giving an address at all, had better be relevant. One of my distinguished former students wrote that I had a duty to say a good word for "Biosystematics," but since he has subsequently written a very respectable book on that subject, I think I am relieved from at least that responsibility.
My inclination was to follow the advice of my abolitionist colleague. The prospect of having to give an address two years hence can be devastating. Besides, I have already given my philosophical-autobiographical speech at least four times: "The Versatile Taxonomist" in 1951, "The Role of Plant Ecology in Biosystematics" in 1953, "Plant Taxonomy in an Age of Experiment" in 1957, and "Systematic Botany—an Unending Synthesis" in 1964.
I suggested to our presiding officer that perhaps she would like to give the address, since we are in Canadian territory, or at least that she might like to have equal time. She replied coolly that a presidential address was not a tradition she intended to establish, and that if I were too cowardly to perform my obligation, then she could probably arrange for an interesting speaker. Stung by this rebuff and admittedly attracted by the opportunity to appear before a captive, bi-national audience, I reluctantly agreed to perform, but with the stipulation that mine would be the shortest presidential speech on record, not counting those that were not given at all.
A heightened panic ensued when, last December, I was asked for a title; fortunately I was not asked for a digest of what I planned to say. The present title occurred to me one morning while shaving—I am frequently not at my best in the early morning. As my son remarked when he heard it, "It. sounds like something left over from one of Clark Kerr's books on higher education," but I suspect that that witticism is too far away. from home to gain much mileage here.
In biology there seems to be a widespread impression that all important matters end upward at the level of the single cell, which is about as far as strictly physicochemical approaches can yet be utilized. Since some cells can operate as completely independent units, the cell biologist can defend himself against the charge that he does not concern himself with whole organisms. No doubt it is largely a matter of taste, but I do not find unicellular organisms, despite their admitted diversity, necessarily the most interesting organisms, and I am content to leave them to the tender mercies of those who do.
Much as I respect the giant strides that have been made made in clarifying basic principles and processes of wide applicability, 1 have chosen to celebrate diversity. It is
1Address of the Retiring President of the Botanical Society of America, Inc., presented at the Society's annual banquet, .June 23, 1971, at Edmonton, Alberta. well enough to know that all music can be reduced to a relatively few notes and a minimum of ways of evoking and receiving them in the human ear. This does not suggest to the music lover that symphonies, sonatas, and operas are redundant because their parts and processes can be analyzed. All literature, after all, is merely spun out of words. Human beings are a lot alike, but it does not necessarily follow that there is no point in knowing more than one of them. Even the most wonderful molecule has its limitations.
There appears to he a general misunderstanding among the public and among other scientists, who should know better, that the process of recognizing and naming natural objects, given to Adam (and doubtless shared with Eve) by .Jehovah was completed in the middle of the Nineteenth Century, and that any valid conclusions from the lengthy process were summarized by Charles Darwin, who incorporated them into his Theory of Natural Selection. Although the doctrine of "Special Creation" of species has lacked any scientific status for a hundred years, many people seem still to be thinking in terms of a finite number of objects created once and for all, and which have merely to be recognized, described, and named. Actually, of course, the living world consists of a bewildering multitude of forms, interrelated to varying degrees, which can only with great difficulty be made to correspond to our formal categories of family, genus, and species.
There is every reason to suppose that large numbers of organisms remain to be discovered and described, and that a large number of existing names are superflous, since many forms have inadvertently been named more than once. A one-to-one correspondence between names and organisms is far from having been achieved. The whole assemblage of organisms must be continually examined and re-examined, bit by bit. The study of a group of any size, or even of a single species, almost in-variably results in changes in the number and presumed relationships of its members, especially if new kinds of evidence are considered.
Changes of Address: Notify the Treasurer of the Botanical Society of America, Inc., Dr. Theodore Delevoryas, Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
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While it is always interesting to discover something new, too much emphasis should not be placed upon initial discovery. The real objective of the systematist. is to learn as much as possible about the organisms with which he is concerned, in the hope of establishing the pattern of their interrelationships and how this pattern may have come about. This is the ideal goal. It is very rarely if ever accomplished fully, but that does not prevent it from giving an aim to taxonomic investigations. So far are we from a full and final understanding of the flowering plants, which are estimated to consist of some quarter of a million species, that no systematist can hope to be proficient with any very large portion of them. Natural diversity is truly overwhelming.
The classical method of studying plants was to describe their external features so that they could be identified precisely and rapidly for chiefly medical purposes. The early history of Medicine and of Botany is quite in-separable. The first botanists were physicians, the physicians had of necessity to be botanists. The techniques of description and accurate illustration improved over the years, and ease of identification improved with them.
One of the features that accompanied an interest in medical botany was the development of herb gardens, so that pharmaceuticals could readily be supplied and particularly so students could be trained in the recognition of important. drug plants. But in most countries one can neither spend the whole year in the field nor can he expect to grow all his materials year-roundd. Since plant structure can he studied in preserved material, and drying is the most feasible and economical way of preserving most plants, ever since the middle of the 16th Century, collections of dried plant specimens or herbaria have been created and built up. More and more, these collections are coming to contain the sole representation of many species or at least the only tangible record of their previous distribution. Thus, there is a tremendous amount of material and incipient information stored in the world's herbaria. This diversity merits jealous preservation.
About 1940 the so-called New Systematics," "Experimental Taxonomy'', or "BM-systematics" began to come to the fore, with its emphasis on the cytological features associated with reproduction and the behavior of plants when artificially crossed. It was suggested that the associated new methodology would make plant classification truly "scientific" for the first time and eliminate, or at least materially reduce, the element of subjective judgment that is unquestionably a major constituent of all classifications to date, If the results have not lived up to the early claims, there can be no doubt that new stocks of evidence have been provided which hear upon problems of plant interrelationship, and that the basis of systematics has thereby broadened. The newest wrinkles in classificatory biology are the procurement of biochemical data and their application to problems of relationship, evidence from electron microscopy and the handling of all data by mechanical means. Thus, diversity of approach has added greatly to the useful information available to taxonomists in the solution of their age-old problems.
Because he is charged with responsibility for nomenclature, the systematist must be something of an historian of science, as well. The first American plants studied seriously were obtained by expeditions sent out by all the principal European countries during the 15th to 19th centuries. The published results of these land and ocean voyages and the preserved materials of their collections are the basis for our knowledge of the floras of most parts of the world. The exact course taken by each plant collector assumes importance as a possible clue to the identity of materials described from his collections. So the systematist becomes a geographer, a student of travels, a fancier of place names, and a collector of old maps and defunct, railroad time-tables.
Some will think that a phase of biology concerned with the dieer;sity of organisms rather than primarily with their common chemistry and physics is at least as much an art as it is a science. To me, this is one of the great assets of systematic biology. The systematist must be, to some extent, a student of morphology, anatomy, cytology, genetics, ecology, and biochemistry. He must work and observe in the field, the garden, and the laboratory, but he must continue part of his investigations also in the herbarium, the map room, and the library. He must be something of an historian, a bibliographer, and even a connoisseur of illustration. He must be as versatile in his knowledge and approaches as fits the astounding diversity of his subject. Indeed, taxonomists have been stated to be "the most humanistic of scientists" and they can perform a vital role in making science comprohensible and palatable, and perhaps in some measure help to close the gap of suspicion, fear, and misunderstanding wt.ich has come increasingly to separate science from the social sciences and humanities, and from the general public.
A last type of diversity that is of concern to all biologists is the existing variety of the living world of organisms and its tragically accelerating decimation. More and more kinds of animals and plants (although the latter are frequently overlooked) are not, only becoming endangered but are actually perisheng. It is an encouraging phenomenon of our era tha the youth, especially, have suddenly hit upon "Ecology" - whatever they may mean by it - as an attractive cause for their characteristically ambivalent crusades. Let up hope that their energetic influence will help to counter the forces of destruction that are so rapidly wiping out so many kinds of life, thus reducing the diversity I have been commending so highly! For as we were reminded by one of the speakers at the plenary session, "Variety is the spice of life".
Opportunities in Plant Science'
Philip H. Abelson Editor, Science
American Association for the
Arlcancemerrt of Science
Washington, 1). C.
A major determinant of the quality of future civilization will he the wisdom and effectiveness with which man deals with renewable resources and with the natural environment. Central to good management of these matters is first-class competence in the plant sciences. Recently there has been much talk about ecology and the environment, but there has been no corresponding acceleration in the undergirding fundamental science.
At one time botany and zoology were roughly coequal in biology at universities, The emergence of large federal support for medically oriented research changed that relationship. Some aspects of botany, such as growth, were supported moderately by the National Institutes of
Health, as was photobiology, including photosynthesis. Other aspects , such as ecology, were not encouraged. Thus, botany came to be overshadowed in some universities and lost identity and stature.
The financial strains of the past few years have been felt rather keenly by plant biologists. The NIH and the Atomic Energy Commision have found it necessary to diminish their support. The National Science Foundation has begun to increase its funding for botany, but the level is still quite low.
Botanists are almost. unanimous in their disappointment that the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has not chosen to institute a grant system comparable to that of NIH. Although academic botanists concede that agricultural research has been cost effective, they feel that ARS has not given sufficient support to work of a truly fundamental nature.
Given an improved intellectual climate and a moderate increase in funds, the plant sciences would flourish. There are substantial matters, both applied and fundamental, to address. The practical challenges facing plant biology include applications in temperate and tropical agriculture and in management of fields and forests. We have developed extraordinarily productive farm crops, but monoculture and the use of limited strains of plants makes the food supply vulnerable to plant enemies such as the southern corn leaf blight. Most of our agricultural research has been devoted to plants of the temperate zone, and the knowledge acquired is not readily adaptable to tropical conditions. Success to date of the "green revolution" indicates what might be accomplished.
A superb group of tools and techniques developed for use in animal biochemistry can be employed effectively in the study of plants. As one example, the use of amino acid analyzers has been crucial in the selection of maize mutants possessing a high lysine content and correspondingly high nutritive value. Recently, it has become clear that plants are involved in a complex chemical warfare with pests and with each other (Science, 26 February 1971). Greater knowledge of the biochemistry of plants will add an important new dimension to comprehension of ecological relationships. The use of atomic absorption equipment can enlighten us on requirements and utilization of limiting trace elements. One of the developments that seems particularly useful is the creation of mobile laboratories, which enable investigators to study the behavior of plants under a wide range of natural conditions. Thus, the performance of' a twig or leaf' can be measured under contolled conditions while still attached to a plant.
Research opportunities in many aspects of botany await the energetic and imaginative investigator. Modest in-creases in support for fundamental research in the plant sciences would bring beneficial returns of disproportionately large magnitude.
Communications are received now, regularly, from the American Society of Agronomy and from the American Horticultural Society, Inc. In turn, copies of the PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN are sent to the publication officers of these societies in order that they may copy any announcements or other similar kinds of information that
'Reprinted by permission from Science, 172:1195, 18 June, 1971. Copyright 1971 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
may be of interest to their membership. These steps have been taken to foster a larger spirit of cooperation between the various plant sciences, and to allow the botanists of various persuasions to read about what their colleagues are doing in the various `distant' branches of the science. In addition to the agronomists and horticulturists. other plant science societies will be contacted in the future.
Within our own family societies closely related to the Botanical Society, such as the Phycological Society of America, the American Fern Society, and others are encouraged to send to the Editor information that they believe to be of general interest to all botanists. Some societies are more aware of their responsibilities and opportunities in this regard that are others. All plant science groups are encouraged to make the BULLETIN one of their chief' means of publication of information for plant scientists.
News & Announcements
A New Service by the Plant Science Bulletin
There is no reason to believe that the current academic and scientific market place has been any kinder to botanists than it has to other scientists who are searching for positions these days. The Council of the Botanical Society recognized this state-of-affairs at their recent annual meeting at Edmonton, and considerable discussion was held about what the Society should be doing to help our colleagues. There is special concern for the newly graduated Ph.I).'s in botany. A motion was made and passed that now makes it possible for departments and institutions to list openings for botanists in the Plant Science Bulletin free of charge.
No precedent exists for this kind of service by the BULLETIN. It would seem appropriate that announcements comparable to those appearing in other professional journals would be published in the BULLETIN. Department chairmen, principal investigators, deans and other personnel officers who are interested in listing professional opportunities are invited to send the information to the Editor who will then place the announcements in the next issue of the BULLETIN. We would anticipate publishing not only openings for faculty, but also post-doctoral positions, full-time research associateships and assistantships, technical positions, and other similar kinds of professional employment suitable for newly trained persons in the plant sciences.
World Directory of Fusarium Research Workers
The International Executive Committee of Fusarium Research Workers established under the chairmanship of Professor J. Colhoun, University of Manchester has been compiling a world directory of Fusarium research workers. An initial call elicited about 50 replies. Since the directory is in the final stage of preparation, we urge all persons engaged in Fusarium research, who wish to have their names included, to send the following details to Dr. T. A. Toussoun, Fusarium Research Center, Dept. of' Plant Pathology, The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park, Pa. 16802. 1) Name; 2) Address of Institution where working; :3) Specific interests in Fusarium 4) Number of years actively engaged in Fusarium research.
Course on Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture
The Tissue Culture Association offered an advance course on PLANT CELL, TISSUE AND ORGAN CULTURE at the new W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center at Lake Placid, N. Y., from July 12 to August 6, 1971, under the direction of Indra K. Vasil of the University of Florida. This was the first course of this kind offered in the United States and was enthusiastically received by participants from Canada, Denmark, Israel, and the United States, with training and background in biochemistry, horticulture, microbiology, pharmacognosy, and plant physiology. The following taught parts of the course: Donald K. Dougall (W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center), J. Eugene Fox (University of Kansas), William A. Jensen (University of California. Berkeley), Joseph P. Mascarenhas (SUNY at Albany), Donald J. Merchant (W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center), Ray A. Miller (Prairie Regional Laboratory. Saskatoon), Toshio Murashige (University of California, Riverside), E. John Staba (University of Minnesota), Ian M. Sussex (Yale University), Indra K. Vasil (University of Florida), and Vimla Vasil (University of Florida). Extensive lecture-discussion and laboratory sessions were held on such topics as past, present and future of plant tissue culture: theory and practice of aseptic techniques; physiology and cytology of plant t issue cultures; criteria for evaluation of growth in tissue cultures; morphogenesis in plants; role of plant growth substances in growth and development; nutrition of plant tissue cultures; morphogenesis and embr,yogenesis in vitro; culture of shoot apex, root, nucellus, ovary, ovule, embryo, anther and pollen grains; plating, suspension and mass culture techniques: nurse tissue and single cell culture: plant protoplast culture; histological and histochemical techniques; plant tumors; metabolism and enzymes in plant tissue cultures; secondary plant products in tissue cultures; development, structure and function of plastids in tissue cultures; and effect of visible and invisible radiation on plant tissue cultures.
Similar broad-based four-week courses for general background and training in plant tissue culture, as well as short-term courses on topics of' special interest and application are planned for future. Topics and dates of new courses will be announced in these columns later.
Guide to Graduate Study In Botany
A third edition of the Guide to Graduate Study in Botany, published by the Botanical Society of America, has been compiled. It includes information on the degrees offered, nutnber of graduate students, fields of specialization, and detailed information about the individual faculty members for 106 departments in the United States and 19 in Canada where one can earn a Ph.D. in plant sciences.
This edition should be available in late September or early October, 1971. It can be obtained for 83.00 from Dr. Barbara F. Palser, Secretary, Department of Botany, University Heights, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N. J. 0890:3. Checks should be made payable to the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
A Summary of the Edmonton Meeting
The Society owes a special word of congratulations to Drs. Wilson Stewart, University of Alberta, who was General Chairman, and Sam Postlethwait, Purdue, who was Co-Chairman of the recent joint meeting of the Canadian Botanical Association and the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Everyone with whom we talked was of the opinion that the Edmonton congress was among the best planned and best administered of our recent annual meetings. The total number of registrants exceeded 1,000. One botanist was overheard to say, "We should always have either the Canadians or the English organize our annual conferences; they do a great job of it!"
Edmonton, Alberta is a city of over 400,000 with many new buildings and every appearance of recent, rapid expansion. The meetings were held on the attractive campus of the University of Alberta which presently enrolls over 17,300 students, with about 20`1 of these pursuing graduate studies. The CBAIAIBS headquarters and general meeting area were in the Lister Hall complex of high-rise dormitories. The small exhibits display and some of the demonstrations were located in the new Biological Sciences Center that houses the departments of botany, genetics, microbiology, psychology, and zoology. This 829,000,000 facility was one of the finest we have seen on any campus. Among its special features are numerous Controlled Environment Facilities that include Trop-Arctic greenhouses and growth chambers. Six sections of the rooftop greenhouse are designed to reproduce environmental situations from the tropics to the high arc-tic. The greenhouses are designed with a double glass shell, with hot air forced between the layers to keep snow and ice off the outside glass and eliminate condensation inside.
The opening plenary session was planned around the theme "Our Northern Plants: Their Importance in the World's Resources." Those who attended were pleasantly surprised to hear excellent presentations at a plenary session.
Contributed paper sessions were conducted by the American Bryological and Lichenological Society, American Fern Society, American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Canadian Botanical Association, Canadian Phytopathological Society, Mycological Society of America, and the Phycological Society of America. The American Fern Society sponsored an excellent symposium on "Evolution and Classification of the American Tree Ferns", chaired by Dr. Rolla Tryon. Jr. A symposium on "Plant Species Disjunctions—The Study of Disjunctions" was co-sponsored by the American Fern Society. American Society of Plant Taxonomists, the Pteridological and Systematic Sections of the Botanical Society. The morning and afternoon sessions were chaired by Dr. Roy Taylor and Dr. James Soper, respectively.
The Botanical Society and the Canadian Botanical Association co-sponsored symposia on "White Spruce—the Ecology of a Northern Resource" with I)r. R. G. McMinn presiding, and "History of Botanical Interest in the Polar North", chaired by R. D. Rudolph, and "Aspects of Northern Botany." The Phytochetnical Section of' the Botanical Society presented symposia on "Techniques in Enzymology" and "Techniques in Localization of Plant Constituents", chaired by Dr. Jerry McClure and by Dr. Richard Mansell, respectively. The Developmental and Physiological Sections held symposia
on "Flowering", with Dr. Jan A. D. Zeevaart presiding; "Physiology of Meristems", with Dr. Graeme Berlyn, chairman; and "Fern Gametophyte Morphogenesis".
The Phycological Section co-sponsored with the Phycological Society of America a symposium on "Northern Algae", chaired by Dr. H. C. Bold. The General and Teaching sections of the Canadian Botanical Associations and Botanical Society, together with the AIBS Office of Biological Education presented a symposium on "Botany in the Undergraduate Curriculum", with Dr. W. G. Barker, presiding, while the Microbiological and Mycological Sections with the Mycological Society of America co-sponsored a symposim on "Analysis on Development in Fungi", chaired by Dr. Melvin S. Fuller. The Canadian Phytopathological Society conducted a symposium on "The Role of Plant Pathologists in Pollution Abatement", chaired by Dr. L. V. Edgington.
The contributed paper sessions were ample and generally well-attended. Most speakers were apparently able to conjure up travel funds despite the general con-traction in budgets, but there were "no-shows" in several sections. Abstracts were published in the June number of the American Journal of Botany.
The Social events were also strongly supported. The City of Edmonton sponsored an All-Society social evening called "Klondike Days", featuring special acts, singing, music, dancing, and even can-can girls. Our domestic AIBS meetings were never like this! Another high point in the social whirl was the Banquet for All Botanists, with Banquet "mistress" Dr. Janet Stein presiding. She is currently president of the Canadian Botanical Association—L'Association Botanique du Canada. On official, formal occasions in Canada both English and French are spoken, and Dr. Stein was required to deliver her official statements in both languages. Although her English was flawless, her French was ‘lawful', and she may inadvertently have set back English-French relations in the Commonwealth! Actually it may have been due to too much sparkling Alberta wine that was served with the banquet! Our retiring President, Dr. Lincoln Constance, gave a brief but lucid and appropriate address to the crowded banquet room to conclude this most memorable social occasion.
If the Edmonton meeting can be used as an indication of what future American-Canadian Botanical meetings would be like, then I am sure many of us would vote for more of the same. There are numerous advantages to be gained in these interdisciplinary meetings of botanists, over the large, hetergeneous, typical ALBS meeting, and hopefully we shall be scheduling others in the years to come.—Ed.
Horticulturists vs. Pollution
This is a time in history when horticulture can help change the course of the (polluted) world.
That is the message implicit in the Spring Edition of The American Horticultural Magazine published by the American Horticultural Society and edited by Dr. Frederick G. Meyer of the U. S. National Arboretum staff in Washington, D. C.
Editorial, foreword, and a half-dozen authoritative articles set forth in reasoned terms the harsh effects of pollutants on some plants, and, conversely, the important part that plants play in alleviating the had effects of pollution upon the environment.
The knowledgeable use of plants can help cleanse the polluted air, screen unsightly areas, contribute to high-way safety, deflect unpleasant loud noises, bring back worn-out land, save our vanishing wild-flowers, beautify the concrete and steel landscape of the cities.
This latest edition of the AHS' quarterly magazine, is not a how-to-do-it manual, for that would require a veritable encyclopedia. It is an accurate and non-hysterical summary of the problems of environmental horticulture written for gardners and the professionals and industries who serve them. The keynote is one of optimism for horticulture can, indeed, help to change the course of' the polluted world.
Copies of the Magazine are available for the small price of $2.2i5 from The American Horticultural Society, 901 North Washington Street, Suite 704. Alexandria, Virginia 22:314.
International Union of Biological Sciences
The XVII General Assembly of IUBS met in Washington, D. C. on October 4-6, 1970. A summary of their botanically relevant actions and points of general information are presented below.
President: Donald S. Farner (USA) re-elected
Vice Presidents: Ivan Malek (Czechoslovakia), re-elected
Frans Stafleu (Netherlands)
Secretary-General: Knut Faegri (Norway) Treasurer: Karl Egle (Germany), re-elected Sections:
Botany-B. Zolyomi (Hungary), re-elected
Jean Guern (France)
Zoology-M. Ghilarov (USSR)
M. Gersch (DDR)
Microbiology-N. E. Gibbons (Canada)
Functional Analytical Biology-A. Monroe (Italy), re-elected
Environmental Biology-L. C. Birch (Australia) F. di Castri (Chile)
"The General Assembly recommends the establishment of international committees to develop proper supra-national laws, which can be accepted by the national governments concerned. It further recommends that the appropriate department of the United Nations be consulted in this matter.
(b) "Considering that in many cases insufficient knowledge exists to manage our environment, the General Assembly of IUBS recommends that the national governments encourage and finance inter-national coordinated integrated research."
Biological Warfare. The Assembly adopted the following resolution on this subject:
"Cognizant of worldwide effort to abolish research on biological warfare the International Union of Biological Sciences in its XVII General Assembly
"ENDORSES the recommendations of the Division of Microbiology for abolishing the production and use of biological agents for purposes inimical to human welfare, and
"URGES its adhering organizations to press for the transfer of the facilities and information, that will become available by the reorientation of activities in this field, to the intensified pursuit of human welfare as exemplified in the attached documents."
Travel Expenses to Congresses. The General Assembly resolved: "That this Assembly expresses its concern at the growing tendency for attendance with expenses at Congresses to be made available only to those wishing to read papers at the scientific meetings, and instructs 1UBS to make representations to member countries so that in future support is not dependent on the delivery of a paper."
Biological Control. "The Assembly approved the report calling for a new International Organization for Biological Control of Noxious Animals and Plants and resolved to endorse the report and recommendations of the meeting on biological control convened by the Secretary-General of IUBS in Amsterdam in November 1969. The IUBS Ad Hoc Committee on this subject was instructed to actively support recruitment of members and to assist in plans for the OII.B (Organisation Internationale de Lutte Biologique contre les animaux et les plants nuisibles) General Assembly in April 1971."
New Sections and Commissions. Within the new structure (five divisions) the following new sections were approved:
—Section of Palaeozoology
—Commission on Ethological Conferences
—Working Group on Systematic and Evolutionary Biology Congresses
International Meetings of Interest.
II International-Congress of Plant Pathology, 915-12, Minneapolis 1973
. XIII International Congress of Cell Biology, July, Sussex, UK, 1972
VI International Photobiology Congress, 8112-25, Bochum, Germany, 1972
International Congress of Developmental Biology, Montreal, 1973
IV International Conference on the Global Impacts of Applied Microbiology, Brazil, 1973
VIII International Congress of Plant Protection, Sept., Moscow, 1975
XIX International Horticultural Congress, Poland, 1974
V International Congress of Radiation Research, Seattle, 1974
XVIII General Assembly of IUBS, Dubrovnik, 1973
I International Mycological Congress, 917-16, Exeter, UK, 1971
II International Symposium on Remote Sensing of the Environment, 5/17-21, Ann Arbor, 1971
I International Congress of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology, 811.1-11, Boulder, Colo. 1973
VIII International Congress in Mushroom Sciences, 9/7-15, London, 1971
IX International Congress of Biochemistry, -July, Stockholm, 1973
I International Congress of Plant Physiology, Innsbruck, 1972
XIV General Assembly of ICSU, September, Helsinki, 1972
XII Pacific Science Congress, 8118-913, Canberra, 1971 UN Conference on Human Environment. Stockholm, 1972
V General Assembly of IBP, Seattle, 1972
Those desiring additional information on the IUBS can direct their questions to the National Research Council through the BSA representative: Dr. Donald E. Stone, Department of Botany, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27706.
RALPH ERSKINE CLELAND
"You are looking well" was my greeting upon seeing Ralph Cleland at a recent meeting. Ln answer Cleland replied, "There are, you know, three ages of man: youth, middle age, and 'You are looking well.' " Indeed he was looking well and remained as spirited and as active in scientific and civic affairs as ever until .June 11, 1971, when still at work in his office-laboratory at Indiana University he suddenly died.
Ralph Erskine Cleland was born at Le Claire, Iowa, on October 20, 1892. He was married in 1927 to Elizabeth P. Shoyer, who survives him at the family home in Bloomington, Indiana. The Clelands had three sons, all now members of university science faculties: W. Wallace, a biochemist at the University of Wisconsin; Robert E., a botanist at the University of Washington; and Charles F., a botanist at Harvard University.
During Cleland's junior year at the University of Pennsylvania, until then as a classics major, a friend suggested that he take a course in botany. The die apparently was cast at that moment, for Ralph Cleland continued, after an A.B. in 1915, to earn an M.S. in 1916 and a Ph.D., in 1919, both in botany. Reprints of his Ph.D. thesis on the red alga, Nemalion, were lost at sea, but he returned to the United States after World War I service in Italy and was appointed an instructor at Goucher College in Baltimore, where he rose in the academic ranks to professor and departmental chairman, until his acceptance of the botany chairmanship at Indiana University in 1938. As soon as he had gotten settled at Goucher, he began his cytological studies with Oenothera and soon discovered the chromosomal basis for the unusual genetic behavior of many of the species of this genus. Others had observed atypical association of the chromosomes in Oenothero, but Cleland was the first to point out that these "irregularities" were of regular occurrence and that each species or race was essentially consistent in the number and size of chromosomal groupings at meiosis. Dining the 1920's he continued to subject every species and collection he could obtain of this cytologically difficult genus to his meticulous checking of its meiotic chromosomal arrangements. Concurrently, John Belling, working with Datum, formulated an hypothesis that. the chromosome rings of four in hybrids of Datum were the consequence of interchanges between nonhomologous chromosomes. It occurred to Cleland and others that Belling's hypothesis might also serve to explain the rings of Oenothera chromosomes, even though many of these included all fourteen of the chromosomes. In discussions with the late A. F. Blakeslee, an associate of Belling's,
Cleland came to realize the possibility for using data he had already accumulated in obtaining a logical answer to the mechanisms that might account for these multiple associations. Accordingly, he and Blakeslee, as recorded in their Cytologia paper of 1931, set up an analytical procedure for assigning numbers to the chromosome ends of the many species that Cleland had used in his hybridization experiments of the past decade. This method, adopted by Cleland, his students, and his fellow researchers in other countries led to a some thirty-year program through which chromosomes of the major species of Oenotltera have come to have labels assigned to them, labels that have been used most effectively by Cleland and his students in working out the probable evolutionary pathways in the speciation of this remarkable genus.
In addition to his being Professor of Botany and Head of the Department of Botany at Indiana University from 1938 to 1958, Cleland was Dean of the Graduate School from 1952 to 1958 and was honored with appointment as a Distinguished Service Professor from 1958 until his official retirement in 1963. Since 1963 he has been Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus. From 1940 until 1946 Ralph Cleland was Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Botany. During his long career he received many honors and was elected to high positions in many professional societies in recognition not only of his distinguished research record but also of his capacity for highly responsible acceptance of obligations to his colleagues. Among these honors and positions were the following: Guggenheim traveling fellowship (1927-28), presidencies of the Botanical Society of America (1947), the Genetics Society of America (1956), the American Society of Naturalists (1912). He was a member of the National Academy of' Science, Fellow of the American Academy. first chairman of' the American Ltstitute of Biological Sciences (1948-49), vice-president of the Inter-national Union of Biological Sciences (1953-58), vice-president of the American Philosophical Society (1965-68), Corresponding Member of the Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft, honorary Foreign Member of the Genetics Society of .Japan, Honorary Life Member of the Botanical Society of Korea. Iie was awarded an honorary Set). (1958) from the University of Pennsylvania and an honorary L.L.D. (1957) from Hanover College. He was a member of both the Society of' Sigma Xi and of Phi Beta Kappa and served actively in the affairs of' his local chapters.
Ralph Cleland's early background in the classics con-
Dr. Hui-Lin Li, professor of botany at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named acting director of the University's Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill. He succeeds Dr. A. Orville Dahl, who resigned.
Dr. Li has been associated with the Arboretum since joining the University faculty in 1954 when he became taxonomist. He has been curator cif the University's her-barium since 1966.
Alfred Loeblich, 1II, has taken an Assistant Professor-ship with the Biological Laboratories at Harvard University. Dr. Loeblich is a graduate of' Scripps Institution of' Oceanography, specializing in marine phytoplankton.
HOWARD, H. W., Genetics of the Potato (Solanum tuherosum). Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., 1970. ix, 126 pp. 56 illus., $8.60.
In this little book Howard has given a very concise ac-count of the genetics of the potato. Earlier more extensive accounts of the genetics of the potato and related species, two of which were authored or co-authored by Howard, have appeared in Bibliographica Genetica. The present account is limited almost entirely to Solanum tuberosum. The book opens with a brief treatment of the taxonomy of Solanum. and the history of the potato. This is followed by chapters on cytology, fertility and sterility problems, anthocyanin pigmentation, morphological characters (these two chapters, as might be expected, place the emphasis upon the tubers), physiological characters, disease and pest resistance, dihaploids, and chimeras. The book concludes with a short treatment of potato breeding. There are separate indices for authors, gene symbols, species, and varieties as well as a subject index.
The potato is a tetraploid species and has relatively small chromosomes so that, as Howard points out, it is not an ideal plant for genetic studies. Whether the potato is a autotraploid or allotetraploid still has not been definitely established, but the evidence seems to point to it being a segmental allopolyploid between two very closely related species. Perhaps of the greatest general interest is the occurrence of dihaploids in potatoes. These have proved to be of considerable genetic importance but as yet they have been of little significance in potato breeding. Howard doubts that they will have great value for producing new varieties in the future.
The book will serve as a useful reference work as well as being essential for research workers engaged in studies of the potato. The cover jacket states that it will be useful to botanists and plant breeders in a more general context, but I feel that the material is so specialized that it will be of rather limited interest. Few people perhaps would be willing to put out $8.60 for a book of 126 pages. This price seems a little inflated even in these times.
Charles B. Heiser, Jr. TAYLOR, THOMAS M. C. Pacific Northwest h'erns and
their .Allies. University of Toronto Press, Toronto
and Buffalo, 1970. 2,17 pp. $15.00.
The "Northwest" of' this hook comprises Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, the Yukon Territory, and Alaska. Ninety-seven species of plants are described, this being about one-fourth of' the species of pteridophytes in North America north of' Mexico.
There are keys to families, genera, and species. Each species is covered by a short, but adequate, description, line drawing, distributional map, and comments on habitat, range, and other aspects of its occurrence in the area. Synonymy is kept to a bare munimum, but it seems adequate for general use. The arrangement of families, genera and species is strictly alphabetical, thus Isoetaceae follows Equisetaceae at the front of the book, and the related Selaginellaceae is at the end, following Salviniaceae. Included are a list of chromosome numbers, a list of species arranged according to distributional pat-tern; a glossary, and an index.
The author has relied heavily on the most recent monographs, but has obviously exercised his own critical judgment, based upon many years of experience. The drawings by Katherine Jones are simple, but accurately and clearly executed, with emphasis placed upon those characteristics most useful in identification.
There are now two excellent treatments of the pteridophytes of the Northwest, the other being found in volume I of Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest by Hitchcock, Cronquist, Ownbey, and Thompson. Dr. Taylor's book has the advantage of being small enough to carry in the field. It will undoubtedly prove useful to both professional botanist and amateur for many years to come.
The University of Toronto Press has lived up to its usual high standards of design and production. Printing errors are remarkable few, although one, the dropping of the "e" at the end of Ophioglossaceae, is repeated on several pages.
George H. Ward
RAFFAUF, ROBERT F. A Handbook of Alkaloids and Alkaloid-Containing Plants. Wiley Inter-Science, N.Y. 1970. 1256 pp. 550.00.
This compendium represents a monumental effort on the part of the author. The main body of the volume consists of' a set of tables, arranged in alphabetical order of plant families, which list the name of the alkaloid, the genus or genera in which it is found, and, where known, the molecular formula, molecular weight, melting point, optical rotation, and a single reference. This reference is to standard works covering alkaloids if isolation and description are well documented.Otherwise the citation is a recent review or the latest reference. The author purports to have covered the alkaloid literature through mid-1968. While there are several omissions of which I am aware, and probably others of which I am unaware, this is a rather trivial criticism considering that some 1,0(11) alkaloid names are covered in the Handbook.
The main body of information is followed by a series of cross indices which permit entry to the main set of tables. These included molecular weight index. The structure tables, which are arranged alphabetically according to family will be of special interest to those interested in chemotaxonomy and biosynthesis.
The major drawback of this excellent volume is the absence of specific epithets and author citations. The investigator who wants to know whether a particular species has been examined for alkaloids will be forced to check each reference for the genus. Those who may wish to use this hook for chemotaxonomic purposes will likewise have to resort to the literature cited in order to determine which species as well as how many species of a given genus contain the various alkaloids noted.
In spite of this, the volume belongs in the library of all those who are interested in the chemistry and biology of alkaloids and plants which contain them.
Ara C. Paul FAHN, ABRAHAM. Plant Anatomy. Pergamon Press. Oxford, London, New York, etc. 1967. 534 pages. $11.50.
There is not an overproduction of different textbooks in plant anatomy in the English language. One calls to mind those by Esau, Eames and MacDaniels, Carlquist, and Foster. Only those by Esau and Carlquist have been completed within the past decade; only those by Esau survey the entire field. Each of the above works in its own way is unique and contributory to the teaching of the subject in colleges and universities. The addition of a further, recently produced text by Abraham Fahn is welcome, because in its own way, it too is special.
The Pergamon Press revised edition is based upon a capable translation by Sybil Broido-Altman of' the 1962 Hebrew language version, "Anatomya shel Hatsemach," published in Israel by Hakkibutz Hameuhad Publishing House Ltd. Professor I"ahn's book is an adequate and well-balanced survey of the usual topics contained in text-books of plant anatomy. That is, it covers the various tissue systems authoritatively, describes the structure of the component parts and derives them ontogenetically. Each chapter is documented with a competent bibliography of works cited. A glossary of terms completes the volume.
Because Abraham Fahn has expended considerable research effort on the structure and ontogeny of tissues of plants growing in arid lands, a subject of' considerable interest to agriculturists, botanists, conservationists, and ecologists involved in arid land use, the several sections of his hook which deal with the anatomical modifications of xerophytes are particularly well done and pertinent. Thus, we find parts on, "Structural changes of epidermis and mesophyll in leaves of xerophytes," "Adaptations of roots to xeric conditions," and "Adaptations of' the stem to desert and saline habitats."
The discussions of nectaries and other secretory tissues in the Fahn book are outstanding and are based in large part on his original research. Professor Fahn devotes considerable attention to phylogeny as related to anatomical structure, a subject which is not adequately portrayed in most books on plant anatomy, despite its high biological interest and importance. Plant Anatomy contains several sections which emphasize the practical aspects of plant anatomy. Thus we find portions on the commercial importance of' fibers and cork and discussions of the physical and mechanical properties of wood—weight, strength, durability, grain, figure, defects—as related to anatomical structure. Professor Fahn also develops the nomenclature and classification of wood anatomy, subjects hardly treated in other general texts in plant anatomy.
The single had feature of Professor Fahn's book are the incredibly poor halftone reproductions. In contrast to these, the line drawings are well-executed and reproduced, and are a distinct aid and support to the textual material.
Professor Fahn's text is well-adapted to a one-semester course in plant anatomy, containing more detail and exploring more subjects than Professor Esau's Anatomy of Seed Plants without being as encyclopedic and over-documented for teaching purposes as her Plant Anatomy. Were it not for the inadequate halftone reproductions, Professor Fahn's book would doubtlessly be more widely used than it is presently. Considering the abundance of desirable and unique features, one would hope that he and the publishers would see fit to redo the poor illustrations. Some real competition in the textbook world of plant anatomy would doubtlessly prove healthy, both for students and teachers.
William L. Stern and Robert E. Phipps
LEHNINGER, ALBERT L. Biochemistry: The Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function. Worth Publishers, Inc., N.Y. 1970. 792 pp. $16.75
The subtitle of this book, The Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function, is an accurate statement of the content. The author has attempted to survey the molecular basis of cell structure and function at the level of a terminal course in general biochemistry for undergraduates, graduates, or medical students.
The book is divided into four major sections: 1) the molecular components of cells, 2) catabolism and the generation of phosphate-bond energy, 3) biosynthesis and the utilization of phosphate-bond energy, and 1) replication, transcription, and translation of genetic information. These topics are covered in thirty-four chapters. The author challenges the reader with problems at the end of most chapters and provides answers in an appendix. Annotated references are given at the end of each chapter. Students can make profitable use of the summary which accompanies each chapter.
I found that the author's style of writing provided easy comprehension of the essential facts. A generous amount of space is devoted to drawings, graphs, tables and pictures of space filling molecular models and electron micrographs. An innovative approach is the discussion of the properties of water in the second chapter. The introduction of important topics from physical biochemistry continues throughout the text. As the biochemical topics relating to cell structure and function are encountered, relevant discussions of molecular biology are presented. The balanced inclusion of physical and biological discussions yields a very satisfying description of biochemistry.
Students and practicing scientists seeking an up-to-date review of biochemistry will be well rewarded by reading this text.
Howard E. Sandberg
HEISER, CHARLES B. JR. Nightshades—The Paradoxical Plants. W. H. Freeman and Co., San Frattsisco. 1969. 200 pages. $5.95.
This small volume consists of trine chapters devoted to ac-counts of selected members of the fancily Solanaceae which are noteworthy as economic plants. Included are discussions of the food plants, potato, pepper, and tont;to, the poisonous and medicinal plants, nightshade, henbane, and Jimpson week and few of the more popular ornamentals such as Petunia and Schi_anthu.s. Tobacco is the subject of one chapter and another tells of the cont•oversy which developed over the ..wonderberry' a Solantun developed by Luther Burbank and promoted as a new and original horticultural creation.
The author has interwoven folklore, history, and scientific data with a sprinkling of wit into interesting and highly readable accounts of those representatives of the nightshade family of particular use to man. The titles of the chapters are intriguing and serve to stimulate the curiosity of the reader. The successive treatment of a series of economic species may often be dull and monotonous when the pattern oi' presentation is not varied; the author has avoided this pitfall with skill. Each chapter represents a fresh and original approach to the considerable amount of factual information that has been brought together about a particular group of species.
The accuracy of the information appears to have been carefully checked and evaluated, although no attempt has been made to document sources in a formal and consistent manner. Various authors are mentioned in the text, but only selected references are listed according to chapter at the end of the volume. While the book is inten- (tended for the layman, more citations and a detailed bibliography would not have made it less attractive or interesting to the lay reader, and would have increased its usefulness to the student. and professional botanist. Many of the "stories" cleating with various aspects of economic plants seem to be handed down from one generation of writers to the next without adequate documentation. This, along with the semi-popular nature of much of the writing often makes it difficult for the student to evaluate the authenticity of the lore of economic species.
The chapter on the wonderberry is useful in calling attention to the misconceptions about Luther Burbank that persist among the general public; it gives insight into the controversy that arose regarding the nature of Burbank's contributions.
This book will be especially useful to classes in economic, humanistic, and applied botany. Its compact format and lively style should attract student and professional as well as the interest layman.
Is rich Steiner
HEATH, O. V. S. The Physiological Aspects of Photosynthesis. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 1969. 310 pages. $8.50.
The chapter titles suggest the scope of this volume: chloroplasts and the pigments; the diffusion paths; methods of investigation; interaction of factors; respiration in light and related topics; water supply and leaf water content; light, temperature and compensation points; chlorophyll content and light (light absorption); light quality and duration; stages in photosynthesis postulated from physiological investigations; physiology in future work. This volume is the only one of its kind known to me and should prove a. valuable aid to both the teaching and the research plant physiologist, and even to the specialist in photosynthetic research. The author has wisely curtailed consideration of the biochemical and physical aspects of the subject which have been and continue to be adequately covered in recent books and reviews, in favor of the over-all process as it occurs in cico, stressing experimental evidence obtained using leaves of higher plants. The chapter on methods of investigation is quite complete and will give the student an in-depth appreciation for the significance of experimental findings which can only come from realizing how the experiment is done.
TRALAU, HANS (editor). Index Holmensis. A World Phytogeographic Index. I. Equisetales - Gymnospermae. Compiled by Marit Mandersson, Aina Scotland, Sigvard Olsson, and Jozef Weytko. Scientific Publishers, Ltd., Zurich. 1970, 264 pp.
Thanks to the careful and prodigious labors of Dr. Tralau and his associates, with the cooperation and ad-vice of Professor Hulten himself', we now have this in-valuable bibliographic "fallout" from the lifelong phytogeographic researches of Eric Hulten. Over more than 20 years, Professor Hulten, assisted by various members of the staff in the Botanical Department of the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseum in Stockholm has pains-takingly compiled an enormous file of plant distribution maps in the course of preparing his several monumental Floras and distribution atlases. This file is being opened to botanists through Index Holmensis. The Index lists bibliographic references to the publications from which the maps filed in Stockholm were clipped or photocopied. Like the file itself, the Index is arranged by species or other taxon mapped. The taxa are arranged alphabetically within a few major groupings (e.g., Gymnospermae), and under each taxon the citations to maps
are arranged chronologically by date of publication. The citations are abbreviated, but not to the point of making a literature search difficult. It is important to note that the geographic designation after each citation describes the area of the base map, not the area of the distribution mapped. Despite the difficulties of standardizing a method of designating the actual area mapped, this would have been preferable. When one sees "North America," one assumes automatically that the known distribution for the continent is mapped, when in fact a single state or even a smaller area may be mapped but on a North American base map. Of this drawback we are duly warned by the Editor in the Introduction, where he also puts us on notice to beware of finding the same taxon indexed under more than one name, because nomenclatural investigations were not possible. These short-comings are minor, however.
Dr. Tralau and his associates are performing a great service in preparing this Index. Extensive bibliographic research is required to complete and standardize the oft-times cryptic citations in the original file. The result, though based largely on Professor Hulten's work, is an in-dependent resource that stands on its own merits. Index Holmensis is a brand new bibliographic tool that quickly should become a standard reference for all who are interested in the geography of plants. Future volumes will be prepared with the assistance of an international Editorial Board, and it is to be hoped that before long the Index can be incorporated into an information retrieval system through the action or cooperation of the publishers.
This important new series commenced in Professor Hulten's 75th year, and it was altogether fitting that Dr. Tralau dedicated the first volume to him.
Stanwyn G. Shetler
PLOWDEN, C. CHICHELEY. A Manual of Plant Names. Second (revised) edition. Printed in Great Britain for the Philosophical Library, New York, 1970. 260 pp. $10.00.
The author states in his preface that the book is intended to involve the "gardener with the plant world by, on the one hand, examining as many aspects as possible of the naming and describing of plants; and, on the other, explaining the relationship of plants with each other." In short, it is aimed at those who work with plants in the garden, but who may know little or nothing about the terminology of botany and the Latin nomenclature of plants. The volume is divided into seven principal chapters, the first four of which are indexes, respectively, to Generic Names, Specific Epithets, Common [i.e. English] Names, and Botanical Terms. The last three short chapters are devoted to botanical descriptions of the flower and the in-florescence, the leaf, and the general features of plant-classification including notes on the more important families of flowering plants and important cultivated genera.
The chapter on generic names, after a short introduction explaining how they are formed, comprises a list of almost 1200 genera of which some species are commonly cultivated. Like the rest of the book, this chapter is strongly oriented toward British gardens, but Americans (at least those in the eastern half of the continent) will find most of the familiar garden genera. Each entry includes the generic name, an English name if applicable, the name of the family to which the genus belongs, something about the derivation of the Latin name, and of-ten some words about the reason why the name was given. As there is no appended bibliography or list of sources, one can but wonder how the author arrived at some of his conclusions. Clitoria, for example, is said to derive from the seed forming inside the flower long before the petals drop.
The chapter on specific epithets comprises more than 2000 entries, including in one alphabetical list genuine epithets, plus prefixes and suffixes. Each Latin term is briefly defined. To botanists this may well be the most useful chapter in the book, as many unusual epithets are included with the more common ones. The definitions in general appear to be carefully worded and accurate, but some of them may be too brief' to be really useful (e.g. "linear-formed" for linearis). Botanists trying to avoid trite epithets when naming new taxa will rejoice in such rarities as baxarius, capax, epistomi.us and togatus.
The long index to common names, occupying pages 121 - 174, may be of least interest to American gardeners and botanists, because of its English provincialism. Zinnia, for example, does not appear in the list of common names except under the heading Youth-and-old-age; Symphoricarpus is called Wolf-berry (although in the index to generic names it is called Snow-berry'; Chionanthus lirginica is Virginian snowflower; Polygonum amphibi.um (commonly called Smartweed in the United States), is Amphibious persicary; Casuarina is Native oak; Sechium edule is called Charity, whereas in America it is usually called by the Spanish-American name Chayote.
The definitions in the glossary ("Botanical Terms," pp. 178 - 191) are suggestive but often uncritical and unsatisfying. For example, aristate is defined as "bearded" (evidently with reference to the so-called beard of some of the cereal-grains, although this is not stated), and on the same page beard is defined as "a hairyness"; deltoid is "triangular"; flaccid is "soft"; florets the "individual members of the flowers in Compositae and Dipsaceae [sic]"; gibrous [sic], "swollen at one side"; inserted, "at.-tached"; lineate, "having lines lengthwise" [ why length-wise?]; scape, "a leafless peduncle...especially in orchids"; .sub-species, "a variant of a species".
The textual matter dealing with plant-morphology and with the "plant system" (i.e. with classification) is simply written, and adequate to serve as an introduction to the botanical side of plant-naming, but like the rest of the book is marred by just enough errors to make one feel that it is not dependable as a reference work. On t. 196, for example, figures C and D seem to have been inter-changed. Family and generic names are occasionally misspelled (e.g. Cordeline, p. 224; Orch-ys, p. 225; Carpentaria, p. 2:32; Stransvaesia, p. 2:3:3; Thymelaceae, p. 241; Melastromaceae, p. 242; Morris, p. 243; Arceutholobum, p. 243; Cr,yptstegia and Calonycton, p. 246).
In summary, there is much useful and interesting information here, but in a book on terminology and nomenclature, especially one intended for an audience without much background in such matters, more attention should have been paid to accuracy in detail.
LEDBETTER, M. C. and K. R. PORTER. Introduction to the Fine Structure of Plant Cells. Springer-Verlag, New York Inc. 1970. 200 pp. $14.80.
Although a number of excellent atlases on animal cell ultrastructure have appeared. no such text has appeared with regard to plant cell fine structure. Good electron micrographs of plant cells are difficult to obtain. Investigators working on plant cell fine structure have often pointed to the difficulty of fixative and plastic penetration into the cell mass and the tonicity problems associated with the plant cell vacuole.
This gap in Botanical publications has finally been filled with the new text by Myron C. Ledbetter and Keith
R. Porter. Their atlas contains a series of high quality electron micrographs "representing a number of cell types from higher plants". The fixations, stainings and embed-ding procedures have resulted in plant cell images of the highest quality. The publisher, Springer-Verlag, has obviously taken great pains to produce high quality electron micrographs. The crisp clarity of the resulting micrographs is truly exceptional. With such electron micrographs, the student of plant fine structure will have high quality prints with which to compare his material.
The cell types and specific cell structures are pictured in full page micrographs and opposite these micrographs can be found a brief description of the cell or organelle. The references given are basic and of recent origin which will permit the reader to obtain more information on the structure, whether ultrastructural or physiological.
Ledbetter and Porter's use of Arabidop.si.s thaliana L., a small Angiosperm, as subject material for many of their electron micrographs is to be comended. Because of the small size of the root, stem, and leaves, low magnification electron micrographs can usually show an entire cross section of the organ. In one micrograph, for example, the entire vascular system of the root can be seen in fine structural detail.
The uses for this text are numerous, especially as a reference for critical evaluation of ones own micrographs of higher plant cells. The clearly written text accompanying each micrograph should prove very useful as supplementary material in a plant anatomy course. The micrographs of the endodermal cell and follow-up micrograph of the Casparian strip region of that cell is but one example of such a use. The text should also serve as a prime source in general botany lectures for demonstration of plant cell structure. The instructor, using an opaque projector will be able to demonstrate differences of cell types not only at the histological level, but also at the ultrastructural level. This atlas of higher plant cell structure should serve as a reference to the investigator. as a source of micrographs for comparative purposes, and as a basic supplementary text in general botany and plant anatomy courses. In all respects the quality of printing and micrograph reproduction by the publisher strengthens the use of this book.
Clinton J. Dames
GALSTON, ARTHUR W. and PETER J. DAVIES. Control Mechanisms in Plant Development, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N. J., 1970. 184 pp. $6.95 (hard-cover), $3.95 (paper).
The preface explains that this brief volume is intended for three different audiences: the developmental botanists wishing to read the latest summation of work on plant development; the developmental zoologist who has an interest in morphogenesis of all organisms; and lastly the molecular biologists who, the authors feel, have not founds plants to be objects worthy of their scientific interest. After reading this book it is quite clear that anyone interested in developmental biology would find this fascinating reading. The authors have purposely avoided getting bogged down in detail and reference citations. They have kept the discussions quite general and have presented a philosophical analysis of the current state of knowledge of plant development.
The contents include chapters on: Phytochrome and flowering; Ethylene; Auxin and Tropisms; Gibberellins: Cytokinins; Abscisic acid, Formancy and Germination; Reactions to injury; and Senescence and Abscission. Each of these topics is very well written and the authors have included information of very recent investigations (there are a number of citations from 1969 and also a few from 1970) therefore it should be some time before the information requires extensive updating. This book should be an excellent source for lecture material at both the introductory and advanced course level. P'or those interested in a concise, recent and rather complete work on plant development, this book is highly recommended.
Richard L. Mansell
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN LIFE SCIENCE BUILDING UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA TAMPA, FLORIDA 33620