Plant Science Bulletin archive

Issue: 2013 v59 No 1 SpringActions

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Spring 2013 Volume 59 Number 1


In This Issue..............

Susan Singer Wins Science  

Prize ......p. 15

 AJB explores Advances in 

Plant Tropisms in new Special 

Issue...p. 3

Join the Best in botany this Summer!

Six BSA members honored as new 

AAAS Fellows.....p. 12

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From the Editor

                                                                                  Spring 2013 Volume 59 Number 1



Editorial Committee  

Volume 59


Elizabeth Schussler  


Department of Ecology  & 

Evolutionary Biology 

University of Tennessee 

Knoxville, TN 37996-1610

Christopher Martine 


Department of Biology 

Bucknell University 

Lewisburg, PA 17837 


Carolyn M. Wetzel 


Department of Biological Sci-

ences & Biochemistry Program 

Smith College 

Northampton, MA 01063 

Tel. 413/585-3687

Lindsey K. Tuominen 


Warnell School of Forestry & 

Natural Resources 

The University of Georgia 

Athens, GA  30605

Daniel K. Gladish 


Department of Botany &  

The Conservatory   

Miami University   

Hamilton, OH 45011

“Is Botany a Suitable Study for Young Men?

An idea seems to exist in the minds of some 

young men that botany is not a manly study: 

that it is merely one of the ornamental branches, 

suitable enough for young ladies and effeminate 

youths, but not adapted for able-bodied and vig-

orous-brained young men who wish to make the 

best use of their powers.”   

—J.F.A. Adams, M.D.  1887.  Science IX (209): 116.

I was reminded of this article from over 125 years 

ago when I saw the front page of the Tuesday, 

February 5, Science Times - Section D of the New 

York Times.  The article “Clues to a Troubling 

Gap” summarized an international science test 

of 15-year-olds that demonstrated girls in most 

countries scored better than boys in math and sci-

ence, including in eight of the ten highest scoring 

countries.  A conspicuous outlier was the United 

States, where boys scored almost 3% higher than 

girls (only Lichtenstein and Colombia had scores 

skewed more towards males---and yes, the U.S. 

was not in the top 20 of overall scores).   

It seems that in both 1887 and 2013, the prob-

lems are (were) the same cultural factors: stereo-

types, relevance, and opportunities.   During the 

past few decades great efforts have been made, 

particularly in the biological sciences, to over-

come stereotypes and provide opportunities for 

women.  (Imagine the skew if the international 

test excluded biology.)  Nevertheless, the task re-

mains for us to engage, challenge, and excite all of 

our students.   But as the images in the past few 

volumes of this journal imply, it may be time for 

us to increase our focus on the young men in our 

classes who seem to show less and less inclination 

toward science in general and botany in particu-

lar.    Now there’s a challenge!

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Table of Contents

Society News ..................................................................................................


Letter to the Editor ..............................................................................................................2
New Issues of 

APPS online ................................................................................................2

American Journal of Botany Publishes Special Issue on Advances in Plant Tropisms ......3
BSA seeks Editor-in-Chief for 

American Journal of Botany .............................................5

BSA Science Education News and Notes .......................................................


Hearty Thanks and Hellos ..................................................................................................6
Opportunities to Contribute and Participate .......................................................................7

Editors Choice Review ...................................................................................


Announcements ...............................................................................................


In Memoriam - David E. Fairbrothers - 1925-2012 ...........................................................9
New AAAS Fellows .........................................................................................................12
Susan Singer Wins Science Prize for Web-Based Teaching Tool .....................................15
National Tropical Botanical Garden Honors Scottish Botanist ........................................16
Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Nashville, TN ....................................18
Ohio Invasive Plants Council Releases New Evaluation Protocol ...................................19

Reports and Reviews ......................................................................................


Developmental & Structural  ............................................................................................21
Ecological .........................................................................................................................22
Economic Botany .............................................................................................................24
Mycological  .....................................................................................................................25
Physiological  ...................................................................................................................28

Systematics  ......................................................................................................................30

Books Received .............................................................................................


Hilton Riverside, New Orleans, LA  July 27-31, 2013

Abstract Submission Site & 


Now Open

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Society News

Letter to the Editor

On the Origin of Seed Plants

Contrary to the view of William Burger in his article, “Angiosperm Origins — Monocots First?” [Plant 

Science Bulletin 58(4): 162 (], the monophyletic 

origin of seed plants is not a mere parsimonious view, but rather a firm conclusion based on sound evidence. 

A number of structural features that appear in the primitive ovules of Paleozoic gymnosperms also appear 

in some extant angiosperms (e.g, Trifolium repens, Magnolia grandifolia, Limnanthes douglasiia) and more 

prominently in the bel1-3 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana. These shared features provide the phylogenetic 

link between extant angiosperm ovules and those of gymnosperms from the Late Devonian Period. In 

addition, evidence from extant gymnosperms and angiosperms makes clear that: (1) the nucellus is a 

sporangiophore of cauline origin which bears a single, terminal megasporangium; (2) the integument 

evolved by the fusion of both sterile and fertile (megasporangia bearing) telomes, which retained a 

measure of fertility after the fusion; and (3) heterospory in seed plants is uniquely dissimilar to heterospory 

elsewhere in vascular plants in that energy required for gametogenesis is derived throughout the process 

rather than solely from energy sources previously accumulated  in the megaspores and microspores.  [see 

American Journal of Botany 82(4): 547-564. 1995 for details (

-J. M. Herr, Jr., Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.

 BSA’s new, online-only, open access journal, Applications in Plant Sciences (APPS), premiered on the 

BioOne platform on 2 January 2013. The inaugural issue included 11 articles: an editorial, four protocol 

notes and six primer notes. One highlighted article describes a new method for PCR amplification of 

recalcitrant DNA that allows researchers to overcome some of the inhibitory plant compounds that prevent 

successful PCR. Samarakoon et al. added a reagent to the PCR mixture that contains three ingredients: 

trehalose, bovine serum albumin, and polysorbate-20 (all three abbreviated TBT-PAR). “Unlike several 

other studies, TBT-PAR works at the PCR stage instead of at the DNA extraction stage, so it has promise 

for pigeon-holed and half-forgotten extractions that previously failed to be amplified using PCR,” says 

Samarakoon. (Read more about the Samarakoon et al. paper at

apps.1200236.) Other highlights from the issue include a paper by Morawetz presenting a technique to 

effectively clear plant tissue for subsequent examination and an article by Roschanski et al. introducing a 

protocol for the annotation of transcriptome sequence data and the identification of candidate genes.  The 

entire table of contents may be found at

The February issue published online on February 7 ( 
Featured in the February issue is an article by Stull et al. (

apps.1200497) describing a new sequencing method that will allow potentially hundreds of plant chloroplast 

genomes to be sequenced at one time. This new method relies on efficient separation of chloroplast DNA 

from other DNA in the cell using short DNA “baits” that were designed from chloroplast genomes that 

have already been sequenced. These molecular baits effectively concentrate the chloroplast DNA before 

sequencing (a process termed “targeted enrichment”), dramatically increasing the number of samples that 

can be sequenced at once.  Greg Stull, a graduate student at the University of Florida and lead author of 

the study, summarizes the versatility of the new system:  “With this method, it should be possible for 

New Issues of APPS online

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

American Journal of Botany 

Publishes Special Issue on 

Advances in Plant Tropisms

Elementary school students often learn 

that plants grow toward the light. This seems 

straightforward, but in reality, the genes and 

pathways that allow plants to grow and move 

in response to their environment are not fully 

understood. Leading plant scientists explore 

one of the most fundamental processes in plant 

biology—plant movement in response to light, 

water, and gravity—in the January Special Issue of 

the American Journal of Botany.

Plant movements, known as tropisms, are 

crucial for plant survival from the second a plant 

germinates to how a plant positions its flowers 

researchers to cheaply sequence hundreds of 

chloroplast genomes for any flowering plant group 

of interest.”  

 (Read more about the Stull et al. study at http://


BSA members are encouraged to contribute to 

the success of BSA’s new journal by submitting their 

research. The editorial board especially encourages 

submissions of new protocols and methods 

that improve investigations in any area of plant 

biology, including methods on genetic markers, 

morphological, physiological, biochemical, 

anatomical, and ecological data collection. As 

Editor-in-Chief Theresa Culley notes in her editorial 

in the January issue, “APPS will help further [the 

BSA’s mission of promoting botany] by fostering 

communication within the botanical community, 

and by encouraging the forward movement of 

the plant sciences through the sharing of newly 

developed tools and protocols.” 

Authors wishing to contribute papers to APPS 

should review the newly expanded Instructions 

for Authors (

Author_Instructions.html) for article types, 

editorial policies, and submission guidelines. 

APPS is part of BioOne’s Open Access collection 

and shares with BioOne “the common goal of 

maximizing access to critical research.” To sign up 

for eTOC alerts, citation alerts for specific content, 

and saved search alerts for the search terms of your 

choice, visit and 

click the links for eTOC alerts and/or RSS feeds.

for pollinators and seed dispersal. “They are basic 

processes that underlie all of plant physiology and 

growth,” says Sarah Wyatt, Associate Professor in the 

Department of Environmental and Plant Biology 

at Ohio University. Plants adapt and acclimate 

to their surroundings using tropisms, including 

moving in response to light (phototropism), water 

(hydrotropism), and gravity (gravitropism). 

To inspire cutting-edge research on plant 

tropisms, Sarah Wyatt and plant biologist John 

Kiss, Dean of the Graduate School at the University 

of Mississippi, co-edited the special issue and 

invited plants scientists worldwide to write 24 

articles that advance and summarize the field. 

(Their introduction to the issue is available at

ajb.1200591.full.pdf+html.) “Tremendous progress 

has been made in the field of tropism research in 

the past decade,” comments Kiss. “This issue was 

an opportunity to bring the community together,” 

adds Wyatt, “and highlight some truly incredible 

science that has been ongoing ‘under the radar’ if 

you will and often under difficult circumstances.” 

Research in outer space is just one difficult 

circumstance by which scientists study how plants 

move. Growing plants in space has become a reality. 

“The International Space Station is now complete 

and the U.S. is committed to its utilization until 

at least 2020,” Kiss says. Food and replenishing 

breathing air are vital functions plants can play on 

the ISS, and space flight experiments help scientists 

understand basic mechanisms plants use to grow 

and move because of gravity, or lack thereof. 

Back on Earth, work on gravity and other 

tropisms is important for understanding plant 

growth, development, and responses to changing 

climates. Basic tropistic mechanisms in response 

to water and light could also enhance agricultural 

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

must adopt a new program of acclimation,” they say. 

Wang and Folta explore new findings about how 

plant species use gene expression and physiology to 

cope and survive in green-enriched environments.

The special issue continues with articles tackling 

how gravitropism works. Recent discoveries of 

plant hormones and the proteins that transport 

them have reinvigorated scientists to investigate the 

pathways plants use to perceive gravity. Original 

research in this special issue begins to “untangle the 

complex interactions” of plant growth regulators 

like plant hormones, proteins, and organic 

compounds, explain Wyatt and Kiss. 

Wyatt and Kiss hope to inspire young scientists 

to conduct research on the fundamental field of 

plant tropisms on Earth and in space. “Remember 

the seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down 

and the plant goes up and nobody really knows 

how or why,” quotes Wyatt of Robert Fulghum’s All 

I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

“This is the wonderment that is inherent in tropistic 

responses—tropisms capture the imagination.”


Migliaccio, F., P. Tassone, and A. Fortunati. 2013. 

Circumnutation as an autonomous root 

movement in plants. American Journal of 

Botany 100(1): 4-13.

Wang, Y., and Folta, K.M. 2013. Green-light 

contributions to plant growth and development. 

American Journal of Botany 100(1): 70-78.

Wyatt, S.E., J.Z. Kiss. 2012. Plant tropisms: from 

Darwin to the international space station. 

American Journal of Botany 100(1): 1-3.

Wyatt, Sarah E. and John Z. Kiss. 2013. Plant 

tropisms: From Darwin to the International 

Space Station. American Journal of Botany 

100(1): 1-3. 

practices, explains Kiss, since crop plants 

experience environmental stressors like drought 

and overcrowding.

Tropisms have captured the interest of scientists 

for centuries. The way plants move can appear so 

eerily human that in the late 1700s and early 1800s, 

Dr. Erasmus Darwin, Charles Darwin’s grandfather, 

predicted that plants have multiple brains that can 

communicate with muscles to tell plants how to 


From Erasmus and Charles Darwin to modern-

day scientists and techniques, the biology of plant 

tropisms has come a long way. Some of the special 

issue articles review the history of plant tropisms 

to the present day, whereas others move the field 

forward through new research. New genetic and 

molecular tools, for example, are used to shed light 

on the mechanisms plants employ to respond to 

water and gravity. Many articles focus on the famous 

model organism in plant science, Arabidopsis 

thaliana. Other articles on gravitropism include 

work on cereal grasses important for agriculture 

as well as the aquatic-dwelling fern Ceratopteris 


The issue kicks off with a broad review article 

about how roots revolve and bend, known as 

circumnutation. Vines that wrap around objects 

as thin as wooden stakes or as thick as tree trunks 

all use circumnutation to climb. Research on 

circumnutation in stems is common, points out 

Dr. Fernando Migliaccio of the Institute of Agro-

Environmental and Forest Biology in Italy. But as in 

all plant sciences, rigorous work about what goes on 

below the surface of the soil is scarce, even though 

root behavior below ground could be essential for 

understanding how plants establish and survive in 

agricultural and natural settings. 

Time-lapse photography has popularized the 

most famous tropism—phototropism, or how plants 

move toward light. Phototropism may be the most 

well-studied tropism, but one relatively unexplored 

area of phototropism is how plants grow and move 

in green light, as studied by graduate student Yihai 

Wang and his advisor Kevin Folta at the University 

of Florida. Light becomes greener when it passes 

through nearby plants. A plant growing in a shady 

spot under a tree receives less sunlight, and it also 

receives different wavelengths of light that change 

its growth patterns. Scenarios like this happen 

every day in the natural world, explain Wang and 

Folta. “Oftentimes a plant cannot possibly compete 

by out-growing or over-reaching a neighbor, and it 

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

BSA seeks Editor-in-Chief for  

American Journal of Botany

The Botanical Society of America (BSA) is soliciting nominations for 

the position of Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Botany (AJB) to 

serve a five-year term, beginning January 2015. Both self-nominations 

and nominations of others are welcomed.

This is a rare leadership opportunity to contribute to the future of 

scientific publishing and the evolution of the  AJB. We seek someone 

with a desire to pursue innovation and explore new horizons in plant 

science and journal publication practices.

Duties of the Editor-in-Chief include both aspirational 

responsibilities (helping shape a strategic vision for the Journal in 

a fast-changingenvironment; working with the editorial board and 

publications committee to shape editorial policies), as well as operational 

responsibilities (working with Journal staff to process manuscripts, 

overseeing their professional review, maintaining a strong editorial 

board and recruiting new members as necessary). Qualities of candidates 

should include a successful research career in the plant sciences, a strong 

commitment to the Journal, and excellent communication skills.

The Editor-in-Chief will be assisted by a professional staff, including 

a managing editor, a production editor, and several copy editors, as well 

as a team of dedicated, volunteer Associate Editors.  The Editor-in-Chief 

receives an annual honorarium and works in collaboration with the BSA’s 

Executive Director, AJB Managing Editor, and the Executive Committee 

to establish and work within the Journal’s operating budget.

Review of nominations will begin March 15, 2013. For the first stage of 

the review process, please submit a brief letter of nomination and a detailed 

vita of the nominated individual to the following email address: ajb-eic@</p>

The committee will request additional information from candidates as 

the search process progresses. If you have questions or comments, please 

contact Carol Goodwillie, Chair, AJB Editor-in-Chief Search Committee 


-AJB Editor-in-Chief Search Committee:  Carol Goodwillie (Chair), Cynthia 

Jones, Elizabeth (Toby) Kellogg, Amy McPherson, Stephen Weller, and Qi-

uyun (Jenny) Xiang 

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BSA Science Education 

News and Notes

BSA Science Education News and Notes is a quarterly update about the BSA’s education efforts and the 

broader education scene.  We invite you to submit news items or ideas for future features.  Contact:  Claire 

Hemingway, BSA Education Director, at or Marshall Sundberg, PSB Editor, at

Hearty Thanks and Hellos

We wish to thank here Susan Singer and 

Beverly Brown for their invaluable leadership 

and contributions to education endeavors as 

their service to the Botanical Society of America 

currently comes to a close.  Susan steps down 

as the second BSA Education Director-at-Large 

while she assumes a new position at the National 

Science Foundation.  Beverly steps down as chair 

after a stalwart commitment leading the Education 

Committee’s activities to support the society’s goal 

to provide resources and projects that create a 

greater understanding and appreciation of botany, 

especially through our educational system. 

We welcome Phil Gibson as Education 

Committee Chair. Phil served as chair of the 

Teaching Section 2001-2002.  He and his wife have 

co-authored three high school level reference books 

on Plant Diversity, Plant Ecology, and Natural 

Selection.  He also conducts science pedagogy and 

education research with a focus on Tree Thinking 

and the integration of evolution across a course.  

Resources are available at


From the Education 

Committee Chair  

by J. Phil Gibson 

Regardless of where we are in our careers, 

we  all can appreciate that science education 

has undergone tremendous changes recently. 

PowerPoint presentations and document cameras 

have joined chalkboards as essential tools in the 

classroom. Clickers, course management software, 

and computers are now common parts of day-to-

day student and instructor life. While these tools 

can make teaching and learning easier (or more 

frustrating, depending on whether the technology 

cooperates or not), it does not change our goal 

to provide students with exciting, meaningful, 

and effective learning experiences in botany. We 

should explore using new technologies as they 

are developed, but 

we should balance 

this with careful 

consideration of 

how we use them 

and their benefits to 


The science 

we teach is also 

changing. With new 

discoveries come 

difficult decisions 

about what new 

material to include in a class, and what topics to 

cut. Needless to say, these are challenges to both 

new and experienced teachers. Fortunately, none 

of us is in this alone. The BSA has a strong, vital, 

and enthusiastic group of people who are willing 

to think abut these issues and share their ideas, 

opinions, and experiences to help us educate better.

My goal as Chair of the Education Committee 

is to promote thought and discussion of how we 

can teach our branch of science better, as well as 

how we botanists fit into the larger picture of 

science education overall. There are numerous 

opportunities where we can make a difference in 

our own classrooms, our institutions, and at the 

national level. I want to do whatever I can to help 

us do that, because what could be more enjoyable 

than teaching someone about plants? I am excited 

and honored to have the opportunity to serve the 

BSA membership in this position. If you have 

any thoughts, questions, concerns, or ideas about 

botany education, please send them to me. I look 

forward to hearing from you.  See you in NOLA!
- Phil Gibson, University of Oklahoma

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Opportunities to Contribute 

and Participate

Planning Ahead for 2014 USA 

Science and Engineering Festival

The BSA Education Committee asks for your 

involvement in sharing the excitement of learning 

about plants with the public.  The BSA will host 

a booth at the 3rd USA Science & Engineering 

Festival Expo to be held April 25-27, 2014 at the 

Walter E. Washington Convention Center in 

Washington, DC. http://www.usasciencefestival.


Do you have ideas for hands-on activities or 

giveaways to engage youth (and their parents/

teachers) at the BSA booth? Would you like to help 

plan this outreach activity? 

Members in the Washington area would be 

particularly helpful in staffing the booth. No matter 

your location, if you have booth ideas or would 

like to help plan the activity, please contact Claire 

Hemingway (


The Role of Mentors to Prepare 

for the Next Generation Science 


The release of the second draft of the 

Next Generation Science Standards (http:// coincides with 

President Obama’s proclamation of January 

as National Mentoring Month (http://www.  This convergence 

of events presents an excellent opportunity to 

profile how PlantingScience mentors can serve 

to help teachers prepare for the Next Generation 

Science Standards.  The new standards intentionally 

integrate core disciplinary ideas, cross-cutting 

concepts, and scientific practices.  Science practices 

are second nature to practicing scientists, but 

students and classroom teachers often have 

minimal experience with (1) Asking questions, 

(2) Developing and using models, (3) Planning 

and carrying out investigations, (4) Analyzing 

and interpreting data, (5) Using mathematics 

and computational thinking, (6) Constructing 

explanations, (7) Engaging in argument from 

evidence, and (8) Obtaining, evaluating, and 

communicating information.

Planting Science Moves Ahead

Mentors in the PlantingScience program help 

secondary school students think through all the 

above aspects.  If you are already volunteering as an 

online mentor, thank you! Your online connection 

with student teams helps students make sense 

of science investigations. It also serves to inspire 

interest in plants and science.  The Spring 2013 

session will run Feb. 4 – Mar. 29.  We invite you to 

join the fun at  

A reminder about email addresses for 

PlantingScience mentors:  If you’ve changed email 

addresses since you last participated in a session, 

please be sure to login to the website and update your 

email and any other profile information.

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Editor’s Choice Review

Growth of a Pine Tree

Rollinson, Susan Wells. 2012. American Biol-

ogy Teacher 74 (9): 620-627.

The timing for this article was perfect (November/

December issue) because it is all about activities with 

Christmas tree cookies—cross-sections through 

successive internodes of “used” Christmas trees. It 

is designed for high school level, but the concepts 

can be easily scaled both down to elementary 

levels and up into college. There are all kinds of 

quantitative opportunities here, including growth 

correlations and environmental correlations. And 

if you don’t have time to gather your own materials, 

scans are available online.  









“A few months in the laboratory can save a few hours in the library.”  

- Frank Westheimer’s Law 

“Unvouchered plant research is about as memorable as Whistler’s 

father.” - Art Tucker’s Law 

“That an average citizen can recognize one thousand brand names 

and logos but fewer than ten local plants is not a good sign.” - Paul 


“Humans seldom value what they cannot name.” - Elaine Brooks 

“Academia, where politics are so vicious precisely because the 

stakes are so small.” - Henry Kissinger 

“Practice safe eating - always use condiments.” - Arthur O. Tucker

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future wife Marge while in school, and they married 

in 1949. He graduated in 1950 and immediately 

enrolled as a graduate student in Botany at Cornell 

University, under the direction of Robert T. Clausen. 

David worked in the area of grass systematics, 

completing a Master’s degree (A Cytotaxonomic 

Investigation within the Genus Echinochloa) in 

1952, and his Ph.D. (Relationships in the Capillaria 

Group of Panicum)


 in 1954. David was recruited 

for a faculty position at Rutgers University by 

the eminent plant morphologist and head of the 

Graduate School, Marion L. Johnson. David began 

his 34-year career at Rutgers, the autumn semester 

of that year. He was the department’s taxonomist 

and Director of the Chrysler Herbarium; during his 

tenure, its collections increased from 37,000 to over 

140,000 specimens. 

His successful career at Rutgers was marked 

by two traits: (1) an intimate knowledge of plant 

and habitat diversity in the small but biologically 

rich state of New Jersey; and (2) an interest in 

employing new and multiple techniques (perhaps 

influenced by his earlier use of cytogenetics) in 

plant systematics. He was in the right place at the 

right time. Rutgers was the home of the Serological 

Museum, which had contributed significantly to 

advances in zoological systematics, particularly 

among birds, from the leadership of Alan Boyden 

and his junior colleague Ralph De Falco.



the help of Marion Johnson, David learned the 

immunological techniques Boyden and De Falco 

had used in studying animals, and they applied 

them to problems in plant systematics.



died in 1962, and Johnson in 1964; Fairbrothers 

then developed an independent research program 

in plant molecular systematics that used a growing 

arsenal of techniques, starting with immunology, 

adding polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) 

and isoelectric focusing, and secondary compounds 

(terpenoids and flavonoids) to a range of taxonomic 

problems, from population variation within species, 

to hybridization and introgression between closely 

related species, and to phylogenetic relationships 

among different families. This laboratory operated 

until his retirement in 1988, and it was the setting 

for the training of 29 graduate students. 

David was an excellent mentor, supportive of 

students and always available for discussions. His 

students will treasure the memories of field trips 

in his station wagon, cruising up the New York 


In Memoriam

David E. Fairbrothers  


David E. Fairbrothers, a long-time Rutgers 

professor and eminent botanist and systematist, 

passed away on October 29, 2012, after a lengthy 

illness. He had a distinguished academic career in 

the field of plant molecular systematics, and he was 

a leader in the conservation of plants and natural 

areas, particularly in his home state of New Jersey. 

David was born and raised in Absecon during the 

depression years, as part of a family of commercial 

fishermen and duck hunters, and he grew up close 

to nature. Soon after graduating from high school 

in 1943, he joined the Army when he turned 18. 

An excellent marksman as a young man, he became 

a Sergeant Rifleman and Squad Leader of the L 

Company, 376


 Regiment of the 94



Division. Landing at Utah Beach on the second day 

of the Allied invasion, his company fought its way 

across France and was in the middle of the infamous 

Battle of the Bulge during the bitterly cold winter of 

1944-45. In a frozen pothole during that battle, he 

suffered severe frostbite of his lower legs and barely 

escaped having both of them amputated, injuries 

that affected him the rest of his life. After hospital 

recuperation, David was stationed in Prague; after 

the German surrender on May 8, 1945, he helped 

supervise train convoys of starving and ill refugees 

returning to their homes.  

David was discharged from the Army in February 

of 1946 at the age of 20, and he took advantage of 

the G.I. Bill to enter Syracuse University. He met his 

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Thruway as David ticked off the names of roadside 

grasses and composites. The lab was also the 

temporary home of nine faculty members visiting 

on sabbaticals, and six post-doctoral fellows. The 

majority of his 122 peer-reviewed articles were 

in the field of plant molecular systematics. This 

body of research, along with the laboratory at 

the University of Texas, formed the backdrop for 

the revolution in systematics that came with the 

application of techniques for the analysis of DNA, 

starting with DNA hybridization (actually quite 

reminiscent of the serological research) and then 



 Although David is considered by most 

to be a flowering plant taxonomist, his interests 

were actually more eclectic as evidenced by his co-

authorship of the Ferns of New Jersey and, at the 

time of his illness, his interest in and study of the 

marine algae of the state parks in New Jersey. 

Two of David’s close friends were Arthur 

Cronquist (1919-1992) of the New York Botanical 

Garden and Armen Takhtajan (1910-2009) of the 

Komarov Institute in St. Petersburg. Whenever 

Armen was in New York, David visited Armen there 

and/or he travelled to Rutgers. David frequently 

attended the Torrey Botanical Club meetings at 

the New York Botanical Garden accompanied 

by Rutgers students. He and the students often 

went for the day and thus the students could use 

the herbarium and interact with other botanists. 

David met Art Cronquist for discussions about 

Art’s system of classification and David’s deep 

knowledge of the New Jersey Flora when Art was 

revising Gleason and Cronquist’s Manual of the 

Vascular Plants of North-eastern United States and 

Adjacent Canada. As part of his commitment to 

northeastern botany, from 1990 to 1998, David 

Fairbrothers served as the Torrey Botanical Club 

representative on the Botanical Science Committee 

of the Board of Managers at the New York Botanical 

Garden. He was also a long-time mentor for the 

Flora of New Jersey Project (


which has close links with both NYBJ and the 

Torrey Botanical Society. 

David’s deep knowledge of New Jersey botany 

was a mother lode for projects that his students 

pursued, and some of them involved work on 

endangered species and habitats. In time, he 

became more focused on practical issues of 

endangered species and habitat management, and 

this coincided with the environmental movement 

of the 1970s. For decades, the Chrysler Herbarium 

had grown in the range of collections, particularly 

of endangered species and habitats. It eventually 

became the resource that allowed Fairbrothers and 

the herbarium manager, Mary Hough, to complete 

(to our knowledge) the first state description of 

threatened and endangered plant species.



publication was influential in the modification 

of the Endangered Species Act, first passed by 

Congress at the end of 1973 and modified in 1975, 

to include plants, and to stimulate other states to 

conduct similar surveys. 

Figure 1. David with long-time friend Armend 

Takhtajan at Rutgers University in 1968.

As a south Jersey native, David had great 

affection for the Pinelands and deep knowledge 

of its plants and natural history; he worked with 

others to protect this special area. He helped 

prepare “A Plan for a Pinelands National Preserve,” 

and presented it to the U.S. Senate (through its 

Parks and Recreation Sub-Committee) and assisted 

substantially in the passage of the act authorizing 

it in 1978. His study of endangered and threatened 

plants in the pinelands led to two publications 

that were instrumental in the establishment of the 

comprehensive management plan for the reserve,



which explicitly mentioned the initial 54 species to 

be protected.

 This act established the first Federal 

Reserve, similar in intent to the Catskills and 

Adirondack Parks in New York, but partly under the 

umbrella of the National Park Service and managed 

by the state of New Jersey. Later, the pinelands were 

added to the Federal Natural Preserve system, and 

then to the UNESCO Global Biosphere Reserve 

system in 1988.  

Later in his tenure at Rutgers, he performed 

more administrative service, inaugurating the 

establishment of the Department of Biology 

(with 89 faculty members) as its first chairperson. 

Although he continued to be involved at Rutgers, 

through advising and consulting, he retired as 

a Distinguished Professor in 1988. His activity 

in endangered plant and pinelands issues at the 

state and federal levels continued well into his 


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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Figure 2. David and Marge Fairbrothers relaxing 

at Frazer’s Hill, Malaysia, in 1975, after he gave a 

keynote address at the symposium inaugurating the 

Rimba Ilma, still the only scientific botanical garden 

in Malaysia. David was fifty years old at the time.

He and Marge moved south to Toms River, and 

David lent his support to the protection of natural 

communities in nearby Island Beach State Park. 

There, he helped with the development of the 

Emily de Camp Herbarium at the Forked River 

Interpretive Center, and helped to document plants 

and communities at the park.  David and Marge 

frequently visited their son and daughter, spouses, 

and five grandchildren. They pursued new interests. 

Familiar with the history of New Jersey, David 

became interested in the antique glass produced in 

the state, then in silver overlay antique glass, and 

they both continued studying and collecting other 

antiques further afield. He became a sought after 

lecturer on these subjects. Because of his declining 

health, he and Marge moved to Lebanon, NH, in 

2010 to be near their son. David died two years 

later, at the age of 87 and after 63 years of marriage. 

In recognition of his accomplishments, David 

received several awards. In addition to a variety 

of teaching, research and administrative awards at 

Rutgers, he was awarded the Rutgers Medallion in 

1988. The Chrysler Herbarium and other collections 

were re-organized as part of the university 

biodiversity collections, and a symposium and 

banquet were held in his honor in 2005, to launch 

the fundraising effort to establish the David E. 

Fairbrothers Plant Resources Center. The Botanical 

Society of America presented him with its Merit 

Award in 1989, in commemoration of his research 

discoveries and service to the society.  For his 

contributions to conservation in New Jersey, The 

Garden Club of New Jersey awarded him its Gold 

Medal in 2008, and the 

Pinelands Preservation 

Alliance placed him in its Pine Barrens Hall of 

Fame, also in 2008.

He had a long, productive and happy life, and he 

will be deeply missed by his family, many former 

students, professional colleagues and personal 



Fairbrothers, David E. 1953. Relationships in the 

Capillaria Group of Panicum in Arizona and 

New Mexico. American Journal of Botany 


Strasser, Bruno J. 2010. Laboratories, museums and 

the comparative perspective: Alan A Boyden’s 

quest for objectivity in serological taxonomy, 

1924-1962. 2010. Historical Studies in the 

Natural Sciences 40:149-182.

Fairbrothers, David E. and Marion A. Johnson. 

1961. The precipitin reaction as an indicator of 

relationships in some grasses. Recent Advances 

in Botany (University of Toronto Press, 

Toronto), pp. 116-120. 

Jensen, Ü. and David E. Fairbrothers, eds. 1983.  

Proteins and Nucleic Acids in Plant Systematics. 

Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, 408 pp.

Fairbrothers, D. E. and M. Y. Hough. 1973. Rare or 

endangered vascular plants of New Jersey. New 

Jersey State Museum of Science Notes 14:1-53. 

Fairbrothers, D. E. 1979. Endangered, threatened, 

and rare vascular plants of the Pine Barrens 

and their biogeography, pp. 395-405. In R. 

T. T. Forman, ed.: Pine Barrens: Ecosystem 

and Landscapes. Academic Press, New York. 

(Forman was at Rutgers 1966-1988, and was 

an important ally in the campaign to save the 

Everglades; he then moved to the Harvard 

School of Design as its landscape ecologist).

Caiazza, N. and D. E. Fairbrothers. 1980. 

Threatened and endangered vascular plant 

species of the New Jersey Pinelands and their 

habitats. Prepared for the New Jersey Pinelands 

Commission, New Lisbon, NJ.

-David Lee and Dennis Stevenson

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Congratulations AAAS Fellows

Kathleen Donohue 

Duke University

Kathleen Donohue conducts research on the 

evolutionary ecology of natural plant populations 

and the genetic basis of adaptation.  Her 

research focuses on the evolution of phenotypic 

plasticity and maternal effects, and how the 

ability of organisms to sense and respond to their 

environment influences processes of adaptation.  

In addition to studying other species, she uses the 

genetic model, Arabidopsis thaliana, in ecological 

studies to investigate the genetic pathways involved 

in ecologically important plastic phenotypes, such 

as phenology.  She is interested in how specific 

genes and genetic pathway structure can influence 

the evolution of plant life cycles, population 

performance, and geographic ranges of organisms 

under different climate scenarios. Kathleen can be 

reached at


Lisa A. Donovan

University of Georgia

Lisa Donovan investigates plant evolutionary 

ecophysiology, with an emphasis on resource 

use and stress tolerance traits as they relate to 

plant performance. She examines ecological and 

evolutionary responses to growth limiting factors 

(e.g., water and nutrient limitations, drought, and 

salinity). Her current study system is primarily 

a suite of Helianthus species, due to their wide-

ranging ecology and available genetic and genomic 

tools. In general, she wants to know how individual 

plant traits affect plant fitness and distribution, 

and how these traits evolve. Lisa can be reached at

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Elena Kramer

Harvard University

The Kramer lab is interested in the evolution of 

genetic pathways controlling plant development 

with an emphasis on reproductive biology, ranging 

from flowering time to flower morphology to 

fruit structure. Most of our current research uses 

the new model system Aquilegia (columbine) 

to investigate specific questions related to the 

evolution of novel floral organ identity programs or 

novel floral organ elaborations. In the case of the 

former, we have been studying the role for MADS 

box gene duplications in the derivation of a distinct 

fifth organ type, termed a staminodium, which is 

recently evolved in the lineage leading to Aquilegia. 

This underscores a broad interest in the lab in gene 

lineage evolution and functional diversification 

following gene duplication. In terms of organ 

elaboration, we are focused on the petal nectar 

spur of Aquilegia, which has been considered a 

key innovation driving speciation in the genus. In 

collaborations with several colleagues, we are using 

developmental genetic, evolutionary genomic and 

biophysical approaches to fully understand the 

origin and diversification of the nectar spur in 

Aquilegia.   Elena can be reached at ekramer@oeb.

Ann Sakai 

University of California 


Ann Sakai is interested in the evolution of plant 

breeding systems.  She has used a diverse set of 

methods and approaches to explore selective 

factors promoting the evolution of separate sexes 

in flowering plants.  She also has been involved 

in conservation and restoration efforts in the 

Hawaiian Islands. Sakai has a strong interest in 

encouraging undergraduate research and has 

worked to encourage and retain undergraduates 

from under-represented groups in the sciences.

Ann can be reached at AKSAKAI@UCI.EDU

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Ethel Stanley

Beloit College 

Ethel Stanley is actively committed to science 

education in which learners pose problems, 

develop and use interdisciplinary approaches to 

solve problems, and engage in peer review of their 

own and others’ products.  Our students should 

grapple with issues outside of traditional silo-based 

disciplines. Her efforts focus on undergraduate 

science curricula, faculty development, and 

national  community college outreach to include 

modeling and simulation (The BioQUEST 

Library), bioinformatics (BEDROCK), quantitative 

biology (NUMBERS COUNT), cyberlearning for 

community college faculty (C3 Cyberlearning), 

and extensive development of investigative 

case based learning (ICBL) with co-developer 

Margaret Waterman both here and abroad 

(LifeLines, ScienceCaseNet,  IUBS BioED, and 

Singapore’s NIE) through both funded projects and 

publications. Ethel can be reached at ethel.stanley@</p> or

Marshall D. Sundberg

Emporia State University  

Marsh Sundberg is interested in developing and 

evaluating activities and curricula that promote 

student-active learning.   An early proponent of 

inquiry in the laboratory and the lecture room, his 

team produced some of the first data in biology at 

the college level supporting the concept of “less 

is more.”  His research has been concerned not 

only with improving student content learning, but 

also improving student attitudes towards science.  

Throughout his career he has been active in K-12 

outreach to students and teachers and has been 

actively involved in the BSA’s PlantingScience 

program since its inception as a module developer, 

workshop presenter, instructor and mentor. Marsh 

can be reached at

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Susan Singer Wins 


Prize for Web-Based Teaching 


Susan Singer, the Laurence McKinley Gould 

Professor of the Natural Sciences at Carleton 

College, has earned a Science prize for her Inquiry-

Based Instruction (IBI) teaching tool for her 

genomics course.

When Singer, a biology professor, was a college 

student, her freshman science classes were held in 

huge lecture halls, where she and her classmates 

listened and took notes, preparing themselves 

for a weekly test. She said it was deadening. 

Luckily, Singer had experienced what it was like 

to do scientific research much earlier, in middle 

school and high school and even as a child, when 

her parents allowed her to graft the trees in their 


Wanting to replicate the kind of research 

exposure Singer encountered outside of her 

freshman  science classes, Singer has developed 

a Web-based undergraduate teaching tool called 

Genomics Explorers, which is the winner of the 


“We want to recognize innovators in science 

education, as well as the institutions that support 

them,” says Bruce Alberts, editor-in-chief of 

. “At the same time, this competition will 

promote those inquiry-based laboratory modules 

with the most potential to benefit science students 

and teachers. The publication of an essay in Science 

on each winning module will encourage more 
college teachers

 to use these outstanding resources, 

thereby promoting science literacy.”

As a genomics teaching tool, Genomics Explorers 

helps students make use of the huge opportunity 

that exists to explore and make discoveries using 

genomic data sets. Often the scope and scale of such 

data sets, not to mention the many ways in which 

the data can be approached, are overwhelming to 

students. Genomics Explorers, a Web site, at http:// 

offers, students strategies and practical tools for 

approaching the data so that the students can get 

to follow a biological line of inquiry that interests 

them. With some of the logistical methodology 

issues—such as how to conduct a gene expression 

analysis—handled by the Web site, class discussions 

are freed up for deeper questions about the research. 

Students as a class are able to reflect on the nature 

of doing research and the nature of data analysis.

An important challenge that Genomics Explorers 

has overcome has been calibrating the degree to 

which students are guided through their research, 

so that they are able to connect with biological 

questions, without the process becoming too 

rigidly mapped out.

Students in Singer’s genomics class collect data on Chamaecrista, which they examined for 

possible increases in biomass, which would improve its value as a biofuel. Singer’s teach-

ing tool, Genomics Explorers, assisted the students in that process.  Photo by permission of 

Carleton College.

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

National Tropical Botanical 

Garden Honors Scottish 


Noted Expert to be Awarded 

Plant Exploration Medal

Kalāheo, Kaua‘i, HI (January 9, 2013)—One 

of the world’s leading authorities on tropical 

rhododendrons, Dr. Graham Charles George 

Argent, has been named the 2013 recipient of the 

David Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration. In an 

announcement from its headquarters in Hawai‘i, 

the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) 

acknowledged Dr. Argent for his contribution to 

tropical fieldwork, exploration, and conservation, 

focusing on Southeast Asia. 

Throughout most of Dr. Argent’s four-decade 

career in tropical botany, including 26 years at 

the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), 

he concentrated on the collection, research, and 

preservation of Ericaceae (the heather family), 

which includes approximately 4,000 species of 

berries, azaleas, heathers, and rhododendrons. He 

is considered to be the world’s leading authority on 

Vireya rhododendrons, a sub-tropical flowering 

plant found at high elevations in Southeast Asia 

from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines to 

Papua New Guinea and Borneo. Roughly one-third 

of the world’s 850 species of rhododendrons are 


The Fairchild Medal will be presented at a black-

tie dinner on February 1 at NTBG’s Florida garden, 

The Kampong, the former estate and private garden 

of the award’s namesake David Grandison Fairchild. 

During the evening’s festivities, Dr. Argent will 

speak on ‘Extreme Plant Collection’. A scientific 

symposium has been scheduled for the following 

day, featuring Argent as the keynote speaker, 

presenting a talk on the role tropical rhododendrons 

can play in education and conservation. 

Praising Dr. Argent’s contribution to plant 

exploration, NTBG’s Director and CEO, said, 

“Genomics Explorers is able to strike the fine 

balance between providing a learning structure, 

while still allowing students to be thinking on their 

own,” says Melissa McCartney, Science associate 


The organisms focused on in classes using 

Genomics Explorers at Carleton and at Vassar 

College,  Chamaecrista fasciculata and Aiptasia 

pallida, respectively, are “non-model” organisms, 

which means they have not been studied or written 

about extensively. The beauty of that is it allows 

students to actually make discoveries in their 


“What my students find is really novel,” Singer 

says. “There is the potential for doing really 

interesting work.”

Previous to the implementation of Genomics 

Explorers, Singer says students found it difficult 

to select the scale at which they wanted to explore 

genomic data, often hunting for a single, often 

poorly chosen gene and finding themselves 

inundated by irrelevant data. The question was 

how to allow them the possibility of doing real 

research while still allowing the students to 

follow their own fascinations and to cultivate an 

ownership of their research. As Singer points out, 

the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and 

Technology stressed in a 2012 report that, in order 

to keep science, technology, engineering and math 

students in those majors, they need to experience 

real research, not “cookbook” labs that simply walk 

them through steps to a known outcome, with no 

room for following their own curiosity or thinking 

up approaches of their own design.

“The challenge in Genomics Explorers was 

getting risers between the steps to be the right 

height,” Singer says.

Although Singer’s students sometimes panic at 

the open-endedness of the Genomics Explorers 

process, they begin to develop trust in their own 

ideas, Singer says. For instance, one group of 

students became interested in the possibility of 

increasing the biomass of the Chamaecrista and 

improving its value as a biofuel. Their research 

zoomed in on their interest, and was filtered to 

reflect that line of inquiry.

“They owned it,” says Singers, adding that such 

“ownership” allows the students to engage their 

own creativity as they look at a research question.

Singer hopes that winning the IBI prize and 

publishing an essay in Science about Genomics 

Explorers will allow other teachers to engage their 

students in similar ways. “What I hope most is 

that this encourages instructors to bring more 

authentic research experiences into their teaching 


For more information about Genomics Explorers, 


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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

During his forty years of botanizing, mostly in Southeast Asia, Dr. George Argent became one of the 

world’s leading authorities in tropical rhododendrons. Pictured: Dr. Argent in Papua New Guinea with 

field colleagues. Photo by Andrew Ensoll.

“Recognizing that the overwhelming majority 

of the world’s biodiversity, both discovered and 

undiscovered, is in tropical areas, and that life on 

earth hinges on this biodiversity, the importance 

of Dr. Argent’s work becomes quite evident. He 

has contributed immeasurably to a deeper, broader 

understanding of plant life.” 

Upon learning of his selection to receive the 

Fairchild Medal, Argent said he was humbled to be 

honored for doing what he enjoys most, “especially 

when so many people have supported me in my 

many expeditions.” He added, “I am filled with 

pride and gratitude that the selection committee 

of NTBG should think me worthy to put my name 

forward.” Additionally Dr. Argent thanked fellow 

field staff and supporters, local people in the places 

he has worked, and his family. 

The selection of Dr. Argent for the medal was 

made by a committee of NTBG’s management and 

scientific staff and board members, which includes 

Dr. David Rae, who serves as RGBE’s Director of 

Horticulture. Dr. Rae made the nomination, calling 

Argent “a natural field botanist who loves nothing 

more than sharing his knowledge.” He said Argent 

“embodies the ethos of the David Fairchild Medal,” 

adding “through a life devoted to the study of Vireya 

rhododendrons, [Argent] has done more than 

anyone else to study them in the field, collect them, 

promote their cultivation, and publish the definitive 

account of their classification. Dr. Argent’s legacy 

at Edinburgh is not just the wonderful collection 

of Vireyas, but all the staff he has influenced and 

encouraged through his fieldwork.”

Dr. David Fairchild, one of the greatest and most 

influential horticulturalists and plant collectors 

in the United States, devoted his life to plant 

exploration, searching the world for useful plants 

suitable for introduction into the country. As an 

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

early “Indiana Jones” type explorer, he conducted 

field trips throughout Asia, the South Pacific, 

Dutch East (Indonesia) and West Indies (Caribbean 

Islands), South America, Egypt, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 

China, Japan, the Persian Gulf, and East and South 

Africa during the late 1800s and early 1900s. These 

explorations resulted in the introduction of many 

tropical plants of economic importance to the U.S., 

including sorghum, nectarines, unique species 

of bamboo, dates, and varieties of mangoes. In 

addition, as director of the Office of Foreign Seed 

and Plant Introduction of the U.S. Department 

of Agriculture during the early 20th Century, Dr. 

Fairchild was instrumental in the introduction of 

approximately 75,000 selected varieties and species 

of useful plants, such as Durum wheat, Japanese 

rices, Sudan grass, Chinese soy beans, Chinese 

elms, persimmons, and pistachios. Fairchild 

and his wife, Marion Bell Fairchild, daughter of 

Alexander Graham Bell, purchased property in 

South Florida in 1916 and created both a home 

and an “introduction garden” for plant species 

found on his expeditions. He named the property 

“The Kampong,” the Malay word for “village.” The 

tropical species he collected from Southeast Asia 

in the 1930s and 1940s are still part of the heritage 

collections of The Kampong, which operates today 

as part of the not-for-profit National Tropical 

Botanical Garden ( NTBG has 

five gardens and five preserves in Hawai‘i and 

Florida and is dedicated to conservation, research, 

and education relating to the world’s rare and 

endangered tropical plants. The institution, which 

is non-governmental, is supported primarily 

through donations and grants. 

For more information, contact Janet L. Leopold 







Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum 

of Art is located on 55 acres in Nashville and 

is considered one of the finest examples of an 

American Country Place Era Estate in the United 

States. Designed by Bryant Fleming for the Cheek 

Family who amassed their fortune through the 

Maxwell House Coffee business, Cheekwood 

was built between 1929 and 1932. The estate was 

opened to the public as a 501(c)(3) garden and art 

museum in 1960 and currently operates with an 

annual budget of $6 million and over 100 full and 

part-time staff members.

Reporting to the President/CEO, the Senior 

Vice President of Gardens & Facilities (SVP) is 

responsible for developing immediate and long 

term plans to achieve horticultural excellence. 

The SVP will lead all horticultural initiatives in 

collaboration with the Senior Management Team 

to ensure an integrated and strategically focused 

outcome that realizes the institution’s overall vision 

and values. This person will provide leadership, 

direction and management to both the botanical 

garden and facility staff including development and 

monitoring of the organizational structure needed 

to accomplish annual goals.

This person must possess outstanding 

horticulture or related garden design expertise as 

well as management, organizational and planning 

skills. A historical understanding of and sensitivity 

to Cheekwood’s origins as an American Country 

Place Era Estate is a must. This position requires 

thorough knowledge of botanic garden collections, 

supporting science and sustainability practices with 

demonstrated creative design abilities. An advanced 

degree in horticulture or related fields such as 

landscape architecture, arboriculture, garden 

design or historic preservation is highly desirable. 

We seek a minimum of ten years of progressive 

supervisory experience and demonstrated 

organizational success in a similar role.

To apply, please send a current resume and 

letter of interest to Kittleman & Associates, LLC 

at For more information, 

please visit Cheekwood’s website at www.

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Ohio Invasive Plants Council 

Releases New Evaluation 


Cincinnati, OH—A first-time science-based 

effort is underway to identify invasive plants from 

other regions and reduce their impact on natural 

areas in Ohio, according to the Ohio Invasive Plants 

Council (OIPC).

Common reed grass, garlic mustard, bush 

honeysuckle and other plants dominate thousands 

of acres in Ohio’s forests, grasslands and wetlands. 

These invaders crowd out native plants and reduce 

biodiversity. Utilizing a 22-question assessment 

protocol developed in 2012 by the OIPC and other 

stake-holder groups, a five-person assessment team 

of researchers and botanists will evaluate potential 

invasive plants and establish a new list of primary 

offenders. Concurrently, the assessment team 

will provide a list of alternative plants suitable for 

recommendation to nurseries, garden retailers and 


“OIPC is not a regulating group,” said University 

of Cincinnati professor and OIPC Chairperson of 

the assessment team, Theresa Culley. “Our mission 

is to develop a new list of invasive plants for Ohio. 

We also intend to play a primary role in education, 

research and early detection.”

“The nursery industry has already been 

impacted by unofficial invasive plant lists in Ohio 

and elsewhere,” said Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical 

Garden Horticulture Director Stephen Foltz. “As 

soon as we put nursery plants on our official list, 

these plants will no longer be allowed for use in 

projects complying with Leadership in Energy and 

Environmental Design (LEED) standards. That’s 

why it’s so important for us to get this right.”

“It’s exciting to see that Ohio has a protocol and 

is ready to begin assessments. This will be a useful 

tool for addressing the problem of invasive plants,” 

said Katherine Howe, coordinator of the Midwest 

Invasive Plant Network.

Under the direction of Culley the assessment 

team will initially evaluate 27 problematic invasive 

plants. The team will address a second group of 

plants within a year, including those produced and 

sold in Ohio nurseries, such as ornamental pear, 

Japanese barberry and burning bush.

The OIPC worked with the Ohio Nursery and 

Landscape Association (ONLA), Ohio Department 

of Resources (ODNR), The Nature Conservancy 

and other land-management agencies to develop 

the assessment protocol. John Cardina, professor 

of horticulture at The Ohio State University, and 

Richard Munson, manager of the conservatory 

at Miami University-Hamilton, were selected 

by ONLA as representatives on the assessment 

team. ODNR botanist Rick Gardner and Dawes 

Arboretum botanist David Brandenburg were 

selected by OIPC on behalf of conservation and 

land-management entities. Culley, a past president 

of OIPC, directed efforts to develop the assessment 

protocol during the past four years.

The OPIC represents a coalition of organizations 

and individuals who have a mutual interest in 

Ohio’s natural ecosystems and the effects of invasive 

plants. OIPC is a nonprofit organization founded 

in 2005 working in concert with local, regional and 

nationwide groups. OIPC assessment documents 

and other information are available at 

For more information, contact, Cheryl Coon, OIPC 

President, e-mail:

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

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•  Emerging Technologies
•  Entomology 
•  Environmental Sciences
•  Genetics

•  Plant Biology (Physiology or Molecular)
•  Plant Breeding/Genetics
•  Plant Pathology
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•  Toxicology/Pharmacology
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•  Whole Plant Physiology





TOP 100


ELS Ad_AJB 2013.indd   1

2/6/2013   4:41:22 PM

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Reports and Reviews

Developmental & Structural 

Plant Physics

Karl J. Niklas and Hanns-Christof Spatz.

2012. ISBN-13: 978-0-226-58632-8 

Cloth, US$55.00. 426 pp.  

University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 

Illinois, USA

I teach a second-year course on plant form and 

function as though it were an architecture class. If 

instead I were ever to teach a fourth-year course 

on plant form, function, and also the environment, 

it would be as a physics course, with Niklas and 

Spatz’s brilliant new book Plant Physics as the text. 

This is truly a lovely book, with all the remarkable 

idiosyncrasies that we have grown to expect from 

the whimsical, quixotic genius of Karl Niklas (sorry, 

but I don’t know Hanns-Christof Spatz’s work very 

well, although probably should learn it). 
The material in this book is very good and 

exceptionally nuanced. For instance, the authors 

do not make a mockery of adaptation. They truly 

understand and care about tradeoffs and multi-

level selection. For their first simple example, they 

examine the basic equation for photosynthesis, 

highlighting its two inputs—carbon dioxide and 

water. For aquatic plants, water is easy to come by, 

but carbon dioxide is not. By contrast, for terrestrial 

plants, carbon dioxide is easy to come by, but water 

is lost. Niklas and Spatz go directly to fundamental 

constraints and never let readers forget them, 

which is fantastic.
But this is not a book for the novice or faint of 

heart. While advertised as a book that allows 

mathematicians, physicists, engineers, or botanists 

entrée into the other three fields, you probably 

need expertise in all four fields to fully appreciate 

this book. The first two chapters are introductory, 

providing essentials of botany and physics, 

respectively. Although elegantly written, one 

would be hard-pressed to use these as a primer. For 

instance, what physicist will really understand that 

cork cambia can arise from epidermis, cortex, or 

primary phloem? This probably seems even more 

confusing to an outsider who might read the text 

to imply that vascular cambia cannot arise from 

cortex (or pith or medullary rays), which of course 

they can in anomalous secondary growth. Likewise, 

what botanist will want to jump straight into 

differential equations for transport (e.g., simple 

Developmental and Structural

Plant Physics .....................................................................................................................21


Beach Forests and Mangrove Associates in the Philippines ............................................23

Economic Botany

Darwinian Agriculture: How Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture ..........24


Systematics, Biodiversity and Ecology of Lichens ..........................................................25
Fungal Cell Wall: Structure, Synthesis, and Assembly, 2nd ed. ......................................26
Plant Fungal Pathogens: Methods and Protocols .............................................................27


Plant Signalling Networks: Methods and Protocols .........................................................28


Flora of Tropical East Africa - Commelinaceae ...............................................................29
Huanduj: Brugmansia .......................................................................................................30

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

diffusion equations) unless they have previously 

studied fluid dynamics?
That said, the authors do their best to make plant 

physics as accessible as possible to botanists, who 

are typically not known for our mathematical 

acumen. This book does not start with a huge rich 

theoretical development of the necessary physics 

(except for the material on physics of solids), but 

instead pulls many formulae off the shelf as needed. 

Rather than belabor each equation, the authors are 

brief in their exposition, but provide just enough 

detail and caveats that, if you are really interested, 

you can find out more elsewhere.
This book is at its best when integrating or at least 

interleaving botany and physics. However, Chapter 

4 and the first two thirds of Chapter 5 form an 80-

page introduction to the physics of solids. Only in 

the final 20 pages of Chapter 5 do the authors show 

applications to plants. Even those applications, 

though, can be almost completely encapsulated by 

a single line from the Ani DiFranco song “Buildings 

and Bridges” (1994), in which she states, “All that 

steel and stone are no match for the air, my friend; 

what doesn’t bend breaks.” To be fair, Niklas and 

Spatz also use a modicum of applications of physics 

of solids in Chapter 8 (and I am clearly not cut out 

to be a mechanical engineer). By contrast, Chapter 

6 on fluid dynamics, where the fluid could be either 

liquid or gas, fully integrates botany. The authors 

start the chapter discussing different Reynolds 

numbers during the life cycle of an individual kelp 

plant: from a very small Reynolds number when 

the zygote is affixed to a rock in the boundary layer 

to a very large Reynolds number when the mature 

kelp plant is many times longer than the waves 

buffeting it are tall. The authors end the chapter 

with a discussion of how pollen and seeds fly on 

the winds.
Chapter 8 is a potpourri of interesting ideas 

and something of a synthesis, which—as an 

added bonus—is full of great botanical factoids, 

such as that chloroplast cell membranes are 

composed mostly of glycosylglycerides (in lieu of 

phospholipids) and that plant egg and sperm lack 

cell walls.
The book ends with a pair of toolboxes, one 

experimental and one theoretical. The theoretical 

chapter starts with a gorgeous description (on p. 

355) of how best to do biological modeling or any 

form of hypothesis formation:
In one respect, the only good model is one that 

fails the test of reality, because a model that gives 

the right answers can do so for the wrong reasons, 

whereas a model that yields predictions that conflict 

with reality immediately requires us to evaluate 

our assumptions about how reality works. Good 

models allow us to reject our preconceptions; poor 

models delude us into believing we have identified 

causalities correctly.
In fact, that makes for a fine description of science.

This book has some quaintness and miscues. 

The authors refer to dicots, in lieu of eudicots 

(and magnoliids and basal angiosperms?). The 

publisher chose a typeface in which zeros look 

like the lowercase letter “O” and ones look like 

the lowercase letter “L,” which strains reading of 

a text that otherwise so seamlessly integrates text 

and mathematics. There are no epilogues—neither 

for the book as a whole, for individual chapters, 

nor even for sections of chapters—which makes 

for staccato reading. The subject index is rather 

spartan. There are times where it is clear that the 

physicist (Spatz) wrote about botany without the 

botanist (Niklas) having proofed the material. For 

instance, Box 2.1 refers to leaves of water lilies in 

the genus Nelumbo that are one centimeter long 

that conduct passive diffusion of carbon dioxide 

underwater. This statement confuses water lilies 

with lotuses or confuses Nymphaea with Nelumbo

both of which have leaves that are 20–80 cm long 

and that absorb most of their carbon dioxide when 

above water. But, despite these minor foibles, this 

is a wonderful and somewhat accessible book 

(other than maybe Jearl Walker’s The Flying Circus 

of Physics, what physics books are accessible?) that 

fills a long-standing gap
–Root Gorelick, Department of Biology, School 

of Mathematics and Statistics, and Institute of 

Interdisciplinary Studies, Carleton University, 

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

in the naming of so many coastal towns, cities, and 

villages with the vernacular names of local species 

(presented in Table 1, p. 3). Information of this sort 

is of both botanical and cultural interest. The book 

will be an exciting resource for both serious plant 

researchers as well as the general public interested in 

exploring the identification and diversity of coastal 

forest species and mangrove associates, their role 

in the ecosystem and in modern forestry practices, 

their traditional and commercial applications, and 

their medicinal and ecological characteristics. The 

volume contains detailed taxonomic descriptions 

of important species along with color photographs 

for easy and convenient identification in the 

field. Images of both vegetative and reproductive 

structures of plant species are included—an added 

asset for easy identification of key taxonomic 

One of the most exciting aspects of the volume 

is the authors’ ability to explain the complex 

dynamics of ecosystem and plant biology and 

connect them with engaging local history and 

personal experiences. While the volume includes 

serious descriptions of key plant species and their 

biological, ecological, commercial, and medicinal 

importance, the authors connect with the reader 

through personal anecdotes that bring together 

history, botany, society, culture, environment, and 

economics in a dynamic mix. For example, details 

on major, commercially important species such as 

the coconut and its agro-industrial relevance to 

the nation add value to the monograph that goes 

beyond the botanical information provided.
Often in developing and underdeveloped countries, 

population pressure and severe economic hardship 

create tremendous anthropogenic pressure 

on natural resources. Similar pressures on the 

mangrove belts are also apparent in the case of the 

beach forests of the Philippines, threatening the 

existence of many species due to non-scientific 

management and exploitation. Through their 

research, the authors have rediscovered several 

beach forest species and mangroves. They have 

been able to raise awareness of the conservation 

and protection of threatened and endangered plant 

species by connecting the communities to their 

local history; community beliefs; and indigenous 

use of different plant species for social, religious, 

cultural, and medicinal purposes; as well as by 

encouraging people to identify themselves with 

their immediate surroundings and take pride and 

responsibility to protect their local environment. I 


Beach Forests and Mangrove As-

sociates in the Philippines

Jurgenne H. Primavera and Resurreccion B. 


2012. ISBN-13: 978-971-9931-01-0

Paperback US$90.00. 154 pp.

Southeast Asian Fisheries Development 

Center (SEAFDEC), Aquaculture Depart-

ment, Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines

The authors, Dr. Jurgenne Primavera, an 

Emeritus Scientist at SEAFDEC and one of Time 

magazine’s 2008 Heroes of the Environment, and 

Dr. Resurreccion Sadaba, Associate Professor 

at the University of the Philippines, have done 

an excellent job in preparing this outstanding 

monograph, which covers ~140 species (97 species 

fully described and illustrated and an additional 

43 species with illustrations only) with over 1000 

color photographs. The authors mention in the 

preface that the current volume is a sequel to their 

previous monograph, Handbook of Mangroves in 

the Philippines–Panay (2004). 
The volume is divided into three distinct sections: 

the introduction, Part I: Beach forest species 

and mangrove associates (comprising the major 

research content of the volume), and Part II: 

Additional species collected (a pictorial collection 

of 43 species). In the introduction, the authors have 

nicely and comprehensively laid the foundation of 

their objectives; introduced the species, areas, and 

location of work; and presented the methodologies 

adapted for the collection and recording of 

specimens. The bulk of the monograph is presented 

under Part I, where the authors describe individual 

species along with their scientific, English, and 

vernacular names; provide botanical/taxonomical 

descriptions of habit, leaves, flowers, and fruits; and 

describe the use of the plants. The volume also has 

an excellent glossary, a list of abbreviations of local 

names, and a meticulously detailed bibliography to 

guide enthusiastic readers and researchers to probe 

deeper into the amazing world of the coastal forest 

species and mangrove associates. A special mention 

has to be made for the elegant poetry of Rafael 

Zulueta da Costa, entitled Like the Molave (1940) on 

p. 10. In the introduction, the authors note that pre-

Hispanic Filipinos were well acquainted with the 

richness of the coastal biodiversity. This is reflected 

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Economic Botany

Darwinian Agriculture: How Under-

standing Evolution Can Improve 


R. Ford Denison

2012. ISBN-13: 978-0-691-13950-0

Cloth US$39.50. 248 pp.

Princeton University Press, Princeton, New 
Jersey, USA

On the Origin of Species begins with a chapter on 

variation in agriculture, an acknowledgment that 

Darwin understood that human selection for crop 

improvement provided a rich source of information 

for understanding the process of natural selection.

In  Darwinian Agriculture, Denison suggests that 

modern breeders should take greater heed of the 

principles of evolution when planning strategies 

for further improvement. In particular, both the 

approach of using biotechnology to improve plants 

and the approach of modifying agricultural practice 

to mimic nature would benefit by recognizing 

the evolutionary tradeoffs in the past that could 

constrain modern efforts. 
The first four chapters provide an overview of 

agriculture and agricultural production and the 

basics of evolutionary theory. What do we need from 

agriculture? We need food, and lots more of it as the 

human population continues to grow. What’s more, 

we need to produce it more efficiently because of a 

variety of ecological and physiological constraints 

that are forcing producers to “do more with less.” 

Denison’s thesis is outlined in three core principles 

presented in chapter 4. First, natural selection, over 

thousands of years, “rarely misses simple, tradeoff-

free improvements.” There is not likely to be much 

low-hanging fruit that will allow a genetic engineer 

to make dramatic improvements in productivity 

by modifying single genes or pathways. Second, 

individual adaptations of a wild species relate to 

the conditions in the place where it evolved, which 

are considerably different from the conditions in 

an agricultural situation. It is not safe to assume, 

without testing, that what is optimal in nature will 

also be optimal in culture. Third, “We should hedge 

our bets…” We know the dangers of monoculture 

and our dependence on a relatively few plants, but 

this is only part of Denison’s concern. We should 

also be open to input of new ideas.

sincerely believe this approach by the authors is a 

monumental step that, if applied successfully, will 

involve communities in the protection of local 

species with great effectiveness and efficiency. 
The volume provides thorough coverage of 

neglected species that are ecologically and 

commercially unique and important for the 

Philippines; it will serve as an excellent handbook 

for plant researchers and field and amateur 

botanists. The use of vernacular names will help 

local researchers and enthusiasts to identify the 

species by their local vernacular names; it will also 

promote conservation efforts because it connects 

local communities to their plant resources in 

terms of their language, local history, and culture 

more intrinsically than dry technical botanical 

terminologies. This work will help build awareness 

among local communities, the general public, 

students, researchers, and academics of the 

importance of these plant species and their intricate 

relationship with the fragile local ecosystem, and 

will play a role in the conservation and protection of 

the unique ecological resources of the Philippines. 
In future editions, some additional information on 

the common diseases of the studied plant species 

and their association to different zoological taxa in 

their corresponding ecosystem would be helpful. It 

will be interesting to note which animals or birds 

forage on certain plant species, which insects are 

more prevalent with particular plant species, or 

any important plant–fungal associations in the 

beach ecosystem. It would also be useful to know 

what specific factors (including anthropogenic 

factors) are contributing toward the threatened 

or endangered status of a particular species. 

Lastly, current conservation efforts in progress for 

individual species could be included.  
This is an excellent book that can serve to advocate 

for the subject of botany to the general public. It 

will be valuable for those specializing in plant 

sciences/biology, mangrove ecology, coastal/marine 

ecosystems, mangrove/beach forestry, coastal 

biology/botany, marine botany, applied/economic 

botany, mangrove taxonomy and systematics, plant 

taxonomy, applied ecosystem, ethnobotany and 

ethnomedicine, environmental studies, and plant/

economic geography.
-S. K. Basu, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, 

Alberta, Canada.

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Chapters 5, 6, and 7 address the first two of these 

principles in turn and focus on “What won’t work.” 

In the first case what won’t work is tradeoff-blind 

biotechnology. Denison argues that although 

biotechnology, like traditional breeding, has been 

effective at producing specific benefits, such as 

pest or pathogen resistance, it has had little effect 

on yield potential—basically photosynthetic and 

water use efficiency. The reason is that natural 

selection already has done the experiments to 

improve photosynthesis and water use, effectively 

constraining the potential of biotechnology to 

make further improvements. “Selfish Genes, 

Sophisticated Plants, and Haphazard Ecosystems” 

is the title of chapter 6, in which Denison addresses 

the role of natural selection at each of these levels. 

The bottom line is that genotypes and phenotypes 

are “improved” through selection, but ecosystems 

are not—at least by the criteria important for 

agriculture. Here he relates the classic example of 

breeding for male sterility in corn, which was good 

for the breeder and seed companies, but disastrous 

for the corn crop when Southern leaf blight swept 

the corn belt in 1970. This leads naturally to what 

won’t work in chapter 7—“Misguided Mimicry of 

Natural Ecosystems.” The foil for this chapter is Wes 

Jackson and the Land Institute. In turn, Denison 

presents a case against attempts to perennialize 

grain crops, minimize fertilizer application, extend 

the scale of polyculture, and rely on biodiversity to 

control pests on a large scale. 
The last five chapters are more positive and shift the 

evolutionary focus from what won’t work, to what 

has worked—or could work. The key, according 

to Denison, is to be multidisciplinary, to keep the 

focus on evolution, and to look for tradeoffs. In 

general, characters associated with high yield tend 

to associate with low competitiveness, so we should 

focus on reducing competition. For instance, we 

have already done this by reducing the height 

of many crop plants but we have not addressed 

belowground competition such as root competition 

for water or nutrients. The focus on competition is 

expanded in chapter 9 to include between species. 

Again we have tended to focus on what we can 

see, aerial symbioses, and ignore what is going on 

underground, especially with microbes. 
The role of evolution should not be limited to 

informing our efforts to improve the crop plant. 

Stopping or slowing evolution should be our 

goal when dealing with weeds and pests. Just as 

medicine has begun to realize the importance of 

understanding evolution in managing disease, 

we should do the same in crop management. Of 

course, resistance to Roundup is spreading quickly. 

We’ve strongly selected for this to happen. There 

are alternatives, but it will take widespread, well-

informed changes in management practices to be 

Denison’s third core principle is the focus of the 

final chapter: “Diversity, Bet-hedging, and Selection 

among Ideas.” The chapter serves as a summary, but 

with the caveat of what are the risks if he turns out 

to be wrong? Hedge your bets.
This is an extremely interesting and provocative 

book and written in a very engaging way. While 

some sections are quite technical, and well 

documented in endnotes, there are also stories and 

anecdotes along the way. It is clear what Denison 

thinks about the topics he raises but he also brings 

in the opinion and experiments of others to provide 

breadth of examples and case studies.  It is an ideal 

book for a graduate seminar or undergraduate 

capstone course.  The general theme is evolution 

but tied to agricultural production and ecological 

theory.  It brings in political and social issues as well 

as research priorities and funding issues.  If you’re 

only going to buy one hard cover book this year, 

this should be it.  By the time you’re finished, the 

page margins will be filled with annotations!  
-Marshall D. Sundberg, Department of Biological 

Sciences, Emporia State University.


Systematics, Biodiversity and Ecol-

ogy of Lichens

Ingvar Kärnefelt, Mark R. D. Seaward, and 

Arne Thell (eds.)

2012. ISBN-13: 978-3-443-58087-2

Paperback, €87.00 (approx. US$120). + 290 pp.

Bibliotheca Lichenologica, Volume 108. J. 

Cramer, Stuttgart, Germany

This collection brings together 17 diverse 

lichenological research papers, each with a highly 

specialized focus. It is the 108th in the occasional 

series of lichenological volumes that has included 

biosystematic and floristic monographs, collected 

contributions from international congresses and 

symposia, and Festschriften of contributed papers 

assembled in honor of major figures in the field. 

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Falling within the latter category, the present 

volume is dedicated to the German lichenologist H. 

Martin Jahns on the occasion of his 70th birthday.
Academic librarians and readers unfamiliar with 

the series should be forewarned: this volume is in 

no way a review or general treatment of the topics 

of lichen systematics, biodiversity, and ecology. The 

title merely reflects the main subject headings under 

which most of these specialized contributions 

might be classified. Not all of the contributions fit 

easily within those headings, either; the lead article, 

by L. Arvidsson, comprises biographical sketches 

of the first nine presidents of the International 

Association for Lichenology. In the absence of any 

obvious organizational theme, the editors have 

chosen to arrange the 17 papers alphabetically by 

the names of the primary authors.
A very short summary of Professor Jahns’ career 

is provided in the preface, along with a dedicatory 

letter from some of his former students. In the 

early 1970s, Jahns co-authored (with A. Henssen) 

an influential book on lichenology (Lichenes: Eine 

Einführung in die Flechtenkunde), which, though 

now dated, nonetheless remains relevant because of 

its comparative treatments of taxa with structural 

and developmental detail not found in other books 

on lichens. His scientific papers have contributed 

mainly to the subjects of lichen morphology, 

ontogeny, and development. However, only one 

of the papers in the present dedicatory volume 

represents those interests: a study of crustose lichen 

development on rocks in Gotland, Sweden, by T. 

Schaper and S. Ott. 
Three of the contributions concern systematics 

of Teloschistaceae: a molecular phylogeny of 

xanthorioid taxa (N. M. Fedorenko et al.), a key 

to the Australian caloplacas (S. Kondratyk et al.), 

and the description of a new Patagonian Caloplaca 

parasitic on Zahlbrucknerella (U. Søchting and L. 

G. Sancho). New taxa described in other groups 

include an alpine Rinodina (J. Hafellner et al.) 

and an Andean Collema (P. M. Jørgenssen and Z. 

Palice). Molecular analyses are used to distinguish 

two species of Cladonia (C. humilis and C. conista

R. Pino-Bodas et al.), to determine the phylogenetic 

placement of the genera Aphanopsis and Steinia (C. 

Printzen et al.), and to confirm the identities of 

lichenicolous fungi isolated into culture (Hametner 

et al.). An extensive literature review of the large 

and problematic genus Arthonia is provided by 

R. Sundin et al. Floristic contributions include an 

evaluation of the saxicolous lichens of Munich (T. 

Feuerer and H. Hertel), the genus Usnea on the 

smaller Greek islands (H. Sipman), and lichens of 

several localities in Greenland affected by global 

climate change (E. S. Hansen). Climate change and 

pollution effects are also considered in a study of 

corticolous lichens in Düsseldorf (N. J. Stapper, in 

German). Another paper, by H. Bültman and F. J. 

A. Daniëls, considers the possibility of using net 

photosynthetic rates as a stand-in for the more 

problematic relative growth rate measurements 

in classifying lichens according to Grime’s system 

of plant growth strategies. Finally, the culture 

requirements and secondary chemistry of two 

species of Thysanothecium are compared in a work 

by Stocker-Wörgötter et al.
–William B. Sanders, Florida Gulf Coast University, 

Fort Myers, Florida, USA.

Fungal Cell Wall: Structure, Synthe-

sis, and Assembly, 2nd ed.

José Ruiz-Herrera

2012. ISBN-13: 978-1-4398-4837-1 

Hardcover, US$129.95. 183 pp. 

CRC Press, Taylor Francis Group, Boca Raton, 

Florida, USA

This slender volume offers an overview with 

substantial molecular detail on the construction 

of the fungal cell wall. The author, a long-standing 

contributor to research in this field, has revised and 

updated a work he first published 20 years ago. The 

book begins with an excellent introduction to cell 

walls, their significance, and the chief differences 

among those of bacteria, plants, and fungi. This 

chapter is regrettably brief, however, and the broad 

perspectives and interdisciplinary insights that the 

author shows himself fully capable of generating 

here do not often emerge in subsequent chapters. 

Nor is the rest of the book anywhere near as 

accommodating to generalists less deeply steeped 

in biochemistry and cell biology. The result is a 

reference work that will certainly be valued by cell 

and molecular biologists working on cell walls, but 

may not attract as many interested readers from 

related fields as a book on this important topic 

might otherwise.
The second chapter, on cell wall composition, 

presents the macromolecular cast of characters, 

and the following chapter describes how these 

components are arranged within the wall. 

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

Subsequent chapters explore each of the main 

biochemical components of the wall in depth: 

chitin, chitosan, glucans, and proteins. While 

it is the signature component of the fungal cell 

wall, chitin, as it turns out, is often not a major 

constituent; variously linked polymers of glucose 

(but not cellulose) frequently predominate as 

structural and microfibrillar components. In the 

next chapter, “Cytological Aspects of Cell Wall 

Synthesis,” the author details what is known about 

translation and exocytosis of proteins associated 

with the cell wall and its enzymatic synthesis. The 

final chapter describes the coordination of processes 

involved in wall growth. It presents turgor pressure 

as the driving force; not mentioned is any role for 

other mechanisms, such as amoeboid extension, 

discussed in other recent literature reviews. Some 

readers may be disappointed that such issues are 

not addressed in a book of this kind.
There are relatively few illustrations in this work 

and many occasions where additional ones could 

significantly aid the non-specialist.  Micrographs 

are particularly scarce, and the reproductions are, 

it must be said, of generally poor quality and in 

several cases inadequately sized.  Considering the 

ample price of this lean volume, one might hope 

that the publishers could afford to be a little more 

generous with production quality.  They would have 

also done well to provide a proofreader.  Although 

the prose represents a considerable achievement for 

a (presumably) non-native speaker, a substantial 

number of errors in grammar, punctuation and 

orthography appear in the text.  These errors do not 

usually impact comprehension, but they can be a 

distraction to the reader. 
The focus of this book is limited to the conventional 

hypha showing polar growth, with due 

consideration given to the contrasting isotropic 

growth pattern characteristic of yeasts.  Certainly 

the hypha is the indisputable structural unit in 

fungi, which have diversified tremendously while 

conserving the filamentous vegetative cell that is so 

ideally suited for exploiting any food source from 

within.  But fungi also emerge from their food to 

produce and disperse their spores; to accomplish 

this they have often metamorphosed their hyphae 

into a wide variety of cells and tissues.  Some of those 

investigated experimentally, such as the mushroom 

stipe, show patterns of wall growth and elongation 

that are very different from those of a conventional 

hypha.  Yet these interesting deviations from the 

hyphal norm are not considered at all in this work.  

Equally unaddressed, although less well studied, 

is the cell wall of lichen fungi, whose diversity of 

vegetative tissue types and thallus growth forms 

is unparalleled elsewhere in the Kingdom.  These 

perfectly legitimate fungi (nearly 20% of all 

described fungi are lichen-forming) may, along 

with fruit-body tissues, pose significant challenges 

to the growth paradigms presented in this book.  

Experimental researchers can hardly be faulted for 

neglecting the lichen fungi, whose slow growth and 

finicky symbioses make them far too complicated 

for routine laboratory manipulation.  But a treatise 

on the fungal cell wall ought to at least acknowledge 

that the fungi are capable of building far more than 

just hyphae and yeasts, and that a focus limited to 

these basic cell types will not adequately explain 

how they do it. 
-William B. Sanders, Florida Gulf Coast University.

Plant Fungal Pathogens: Methods 

and Protocols 

Melvin D. Bolton and Bart P. H. J. Thomma, eds. 

2012. ISBN-13: 978-1-61779-500-8 (hard-


e-ISBN: 978-1-61799-501-5 (e-book) 

Hardcover, US$159.00. xvi + 648 pp. 138 

illustrations, 72 in color.

e-Book, US$129.99

Humana Press, Springer, Science + 

Business Media, New York, New York, USA

The current volume is a unique collection of 

41 chapters from a diverse group of scientists, 

researchers, and academics working on different 

aspects of the molecular basis of fungal pathogens 

and pathogenesis. The editors have successfully 

bridged the gap between classical mycology 

and recent molecular developments in disease 

diagnostics and analysis in a fairly comprehensive 

fashion. The volume covers a large number of 

recent critical techniques that are being currently 

employed in plant pathology laboratories, such as 

regular PCR, real-time PCR, genomics approaches, 

sequencing, blotting techniques, transformation 

techniques, genome walking, gene silencing, 

microarray analysis, cloning, nucleic acid isolation 

methods for different fungal species, fungal cell 

and tissue culture techniques, molecular genetics, 

genetic engineering, molecular and microbiological 

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

methods, advanced microscopy, spectroscopy, and 

information technology as applied in molecular 

plant pathology. These are only few of the most 

common methods discussed in addition to a wide 

variety of new technological approaches devised 

or implemented to understand the complexity of 

the fungal pathogens and uncover the molecular 

basis of host–pathogen interactions. The current 

volume will successfully fill the void for the need 

of a comprehensive volume dealing exclusively with 

molecular methods of fungal pathogens. 
One of the most striking aspects of the current 

volume is the concision of each chapter. Most 

protocol-based volumes lose focus by providing 

too much detail in the procedures and the overall 

length. The editors have done a commendable job 

in limiting the length of individual chapters and 

maintaining simplicity of language throughout 

the volume. The authors deserve special credit for 

presenting complex protocols in simple terms and 

for breaking up the text with illustrations, word 

diagrams, schematic charts, tables, and excellent 

figures. This approach helps maintain the reader’s 

attention without compromising the quality of 

information delivered. Instead of amassing a 

complete reference list at the end of the volume, the 

editors have placed them at the end of each chapter; 

to my mind this is more helpful because researchers 

interested in a specific technique do not need to dig 

through a huge combined reference list at the end. 

Valuable tips and suggestions on conducting critical 

protocol steps are provided from global leaders and 

experts on the topic; this will help researchers attain 

reproducible results and is another key feature that 

sets this volume apart. 
The index is helpful and will assist readers in 

identifying specific keywords and phrases. I believe 

that including a listing of the abbreviations used in 

each chapter after the abstract would be useful for 

the reader; this could be considered as addendum 

in future editions. The excellent collection of 

black-and-white and color illustrations is an 

added attraction for the reader. This volume will 

be useful for both students and researchers in the 

fields of botany and forestry, agriculture, mycology, 

microbiology, plant disease and diagnostics, 

molecular plant pathology, horticulture science, 

biomolecular sciences, life sciences, fungal 

molecular biology, fungal biotechnology, microbial 

biotechnology, and food technology.
–S. K. Basu, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, 

Alberta, Canada.


Plant Signalling Networks: Meth-

ods and Protocols

Zhi-Yong Wang and Zhenbiao Yang, eds. 

2012. ISBN-13: 978-1-61779-808-5

Cloth, US$119.00. 230 pp. 

Humana Press, Springer Science+Business 

Media, New York, New York, USA

Plants have to adapt to a changing environment and 

to many external stresses. Some reactions might be 

transient and short, while others might result in 

long-term changes in metabolism and morphology. 

However, our knowledge of the underlying 

mechanisms of cellular signaling and regulation is 

still extremely limited. To fully understand plant 

reactions, it would be necessary to elucidate the 

perception of signals, the functioning of molecular 

switches, the activation of genes, translation 

and transcription, as well as the resulting shifts 

in enzymes and metabolites and their feedback 

reactions. In the past decades, studies with model 

species like Arabidopsis have helped us to recognize 

a number of these adaptations, but we are still far 

from having the whole picture.
In order to understand cellular decision processes, 

it is important to identify the molecular actors 

and their interactions with each other in reaction 

cascades. Genomics, proteomics, and the role 

of small molecules are the key tools to the 

understanding we need. To date, studying genomes 

has led to incredible progress in understanding 

biology, but this is nothing compared to the 

advances in the understanding of cellular reactions, 

it would be necessary to elucidate the perception of 

signals, the functioning of molecular switches, the 

activation of genes, translation and transcription, 

as well as the resulting shifts in enzymes and 

metabolites and their feedback reactions. In the 

past decades, studies with model species like 

Arabidopsis have helped us to recognize a number 

of these adaptations, but we are still far from 

having the whole picture. In order to understand 

cellular decision processes, it is important to 

identify the molecular actors and their interactions 

with each other in reaction cascades. Genomics, 

proteomics, and the role of small molecules are the 

key tools to the understanding we need. To date, 

studying genomes has led to incredible progress 

in understanding biology, but this is nothing 

compared to the advances in the understanding of 

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

reactions, it would be necessary to elucidate the 

perception of signals, the functioning of molecular 

switches, the activation of genes, translation 

and transcription, as well as the resulting shifts 

in enzymes and metabolites and their feedback 

reactions. In the past decades, studies with model 

species like Arabidopsis have helped us to recognize 

a number of these adaptations, but we are still far 

from having the whole picture.
In order to understand cellular decision processes, 

it is important to identify the molecular actors 

and their interactions with each other in reaction 

cascades. Genomics, proteomics, and the role 

of small molecules are the key tools to the 

understanding we need. To date, studying genomes 

has led to incredible progress in understanding 

biology, but this is nothing compared to the 

advances in the understanding of cellular 

adaptations in the study of proteomics. By now it is 

clear that one gene can encode different proteins due 

to post-translational splicing and protein–protein 

interactions, leading to results including reversible 

or irreversible oxidation or to phosphorylation, 

methylation, or glutathionylation. Furthermore, it 

is clear that there are signal transduction pathways 

linking signal perception to gene regulation. 

Current development of proteomic methods has 

allowed unraveling signaling processes on the basis 

of alterations in proteins. It is now possible to profile 

even small changes on the level of single proteins 

in a given tissue. Even quantitative approaches are 

Chemical genetics focuses on the identification of 

small molecules and their role in changing protein 

functionality. It may be seen as a complement to 

traditional genetics, but it is also complementary 

to proteomics. Chemical genetics, which is being 

used with increasing success in pharmacology, has 

also begun to influence the plant sciences and the 

understanding of metabolic pathways.
The editors of this volume, both plant physiologists 

and specialists in plant responses to the 

environment, have chosen topics of interest for the 

scientific community. The present book compiles 

some of the most recent and promising protocols 

in the study of plant signaling networks. Beware, 

though, because of its focus on methods, this 

text focuses on the how rather than the why. The 

abstracts and introductions to each chapter give just 

a clue of the biochemical background and are not a 

substitute for further reading. The same is true for 

the references given with each chapter: they refer to 

the methods, and only a few provide an overview 

of the topic. It is in the nature of a protocol book to 

not be comprehensive on the scientific background.
The first six chapters focus on methods for the 

detection of post-translational changes in proteins 

and their quantitative analysis. Among many other 

procedures, stable isotope labeling, differential 

two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DGE) 

or immobilized metal affinity chromatography, 

and advanced mass spectrometry methods are 

described. Processing data and database searching 

of liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry 

(LC/MS) and liquid chromatography–tandem 

mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) data sets are also 

covered. As the lab of one of the editors is very 

experienced in this field, he contributes to two of 

the chapters of this section. 
Proteomic methods usually utilize gel 

electrophoresis or isotope tagging for the 

estimation of protein abundances. On the other 

hand, gel-free approaches are fast and use existing 

databases to identify phosphorylated key proteins 

from partial sequences obtained after digestion 

and mass spectrometry. Contrary to this, gel 

electrophoretic methods first separate abundant 

proteins and determine their phosphorylation 

in a second step. Both methods have significant 

drawbacks: the first identifies only sequence 

fragments, which bears a certain insecurity of 

the protein identity, and the second suffers from 

reproducibility of exact isoelectric focusing (IEF) 

and molecular weight (MW) data on the two-

dimensional gels. Furthermore, separating and 

identifying hydrophobic proteins with 2-DGE is 

still a matter of discussion. The reader obtains a 

comprehensive overview of the available methods, 

some pitfalls, and the equipment and time needed, 

and can decide which setup best suits his or her 

The subsequent chapters deal with the role of small 

molecules in signaling, as well as their detection. 

This section is followed by methods for the 

dissection of GTPase-dependent pathways. Because 

ubiquitin conjugation seems to be a very important 

step in eukaryotic protein modification, methods to 

study its role in vivo and in vitro are provided in 

two independent chapters. Genome-wide profiling 

is covered in the next three chapters, including 

novel techniques like the Illumina or Sequencing by 

Oligonucleotide Ligation and Detection (SOLiD) 

whole genome sequencing methods. Last, but not 

least, an important summary of a computational 

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

method for the analysis of cell growth patterns is 

included, providing an example of the importance 

of bioinformatics tools.
Each chapter contains a detailed list of materials 

and a description of the equipment needed for the 

respective experiment, followed by a step-by-step 

protocol for the successful completion of the tasks. 

In all chapters, this section is very detailed and gives 

important hints on incubation times, handling of 

equipment, and intermediate results. 
Each experimental section is followed by notes. 

These notes to the methods differ considerably in 

length and detail. Some authors have spent ample 

time and space to further explain experimental 

procedures and problems, while others seemed to 

consider the notes section as just an addendum. 

Some authors also provide valuable links to lab 

web sites or to videos for further information. A 

few authors use them to add trivialities: “…results 

must be reconfirmed by repeating the experiment 

three times.” In any case, it is worthwhile to read 

these notes thoroughly. The index is informative 

but very short. It will probably be necessary to 

browse through the chapters of interest to spot 

more specific information.
Overall, this protocol book is a good overview across 

various research approaches such as genomics, 

proteomics, metabolomics, and bioinformatics. Its 

methods are elaborate and clear, and most of the 

chapters provide specific hints and notes to increase 

the success of the experiments. This book will long 

stand as a guide to plant signaling networks, and it 

can be taken as a useful vademecum to the lab for 

the more experienced user. 
–Peter Schröder, Senior Plant Physiologist, Re-

search Unit Microbe Plant Interactions, Helmholtz 

Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany. peter.


Flora of Tropical East Africa - Com-


Robert Faden, 2012. ISBN 978-1-84246-

436-6 (paperback, US$75.00) 244 pp. Royal 

Botanic Gardens, Kew. Distributed by Uni-

versity Chicago Press, Chicago. 

With this volume and a volume on Solanaceae, 

written by Jennifer M. Edmonds, Flora of Tropica 

East Africa (FTEA) has been finished in 2012. This 

is the largest ever completed regional tropical Flora. 

When first parts of the FTEA appeared in 1952, 

botanists expected that it would only take about 15 

years to finish and they thought it would amount to 

around 7,500 vascular plant species in the region. 

Instead, it took 135 plant taxonomists and 211 

illustrators exactly 60 years to write 267 volumes 

(about two meters of shelf space) that describe 

12,104 wild plant species in Uganda, Kenya, and 

Tanzania. About 2,500 species are endemic to the 

region and more than 1,500 new species for science 

have been found during the FTEA project.
Robert Faden, Research Botanist and Associate 

Curator at the National Museum of Natural History, 

has been working in Africa and on systematics 

and phylogeny of Commelinaceae for 40 years. 

Therefore, he was better qualified than anybody 

else to prepare a volume on this difficult family 

for  the FTEA. According to his treatment, the 

family Commelinaceae is represented by 11 genera 

and 123 species in the region. The largest genus – 

Commelina – is represented by 51 species. This is 

a notoriously difficult genus because the species 

are difficult to identify even when fresh material 

is available. Unfortunately, only 11 species are 

illustrated. The second largest genus is Aneilema

represented by 36 species. Nine species in this genus 

are illustrated. The remaining genera (Anthericopsis, 

Coleotrype, Cyanotis, Floscopa, Murdannia, 

Palisota, Pollia, Polyspathia, Stanfieldiella) are 

represented by fewer species. There are eight new 

species and eight new subspecies described in this 

volume. A few naturalized species (Tradescantia 

spp.) are mentioned in the text. Some of the species 

described in this volume are invasive in other parts 

of the world (e.g., Commelina benghalensis, C. 

diffusa, C. forskaolii). 

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Plant Science Bulletin 59(1) 2013

The Flora of Tropical East Africa is a monumental 

achievement. The editors, all contributing authors, 

and artists should be congratulated on this 

milestone in tropical botany and plant systematics! 
– Marcel Rejmánek, Department of Evolution and 

Ecology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Huanduj: Brugmansia

Alistair Hay, Monika Gottschalk, and Adolfo 


2012. ISBN-13: 978-1-84246-477-9

Hardcover, £68.00. 424 pp. 

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Sur-

rey, United Kingdom,

Brugmansia Pers. (Solanaceae: Datureae) is a genus 

of seven recognized species and almost 1800 named 

cultivars. The common name in the title, huanduj, 

is in Kichwa, a major language of the indigenous 

peoples of Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru, which is 

the center of the range of most of the species of this 

genus. The genus is most unusual in that its species 

are not known to occur in habitats undisturbed by 

human beings; rather, the species inhabit roadsides, 

edges of fields, and other disturbed situations. 

Range maps for the seven species are given on p. 94.
The plants contain tropane (or “belladonna”) 

alkaloids, psychoactive compounds that therefore 

figure in folk medicine and religious ceremonies. 

The tribe Datureae is especially rich in these 

compounds; Chapter 1, “Sacrament and Medicine,” 

is devoted to these uses for the plants. Chapter 

2, titled simply “Poison,” discusses the risks and 

dangers of these plants.
Chapter 3, “Taxonomy,” is in some respects the 

critical chapter in the entire book, because you 

cannot talk about a thing without a name for it, and 

the nomenclature of brugmansias is extraordinarily 

complex and beset with ambiguities. The 

underlying skeleton of the taxonomy adopted here 

is an unpublished Ph.D. dissertation by Tommie 

Earl Lockwood (1941–1975), one of three people 

to whom this book is dedicated. The key (on p. 

100) appears workable. Problems will arise because 

hybrids are so abundant. These cannot be accounted 

for in a key, because they are so widely variable. The 

genus is divided into two sections, Brugmansia and 

Sphaerocarpium J. M. H. Shaw, and the evidence is 

that hybridization does not extend across sectional 

lines. In the treatment of each of the recognized 

species, there is a full citation of relevant names, 

with lectotypes or neotypes designated where 

necessary. The treatments of each species are 

much longer than one usually sees in revisionary 

treatments; the effort is evidently meant to tie up 

every loose end, with respect to issues including 

typification, history, and misapplication of names 

in previous literature. The authors have most 

admirably attained their goal.
The second half of the book is devoted to 

horticulture: cultivation, propagation, diseases and 

pests, and so on. These topics will doubtless appeal 

most to cultivators, of whom there are apparently 

thousands—some of whom are organized into 

groups like the International Brugmansia and 

Datura Society. The authors comment that 

brugmansia is surely acceptable as a common name 

for these plants, “though it is, unfortunately, all too 

open to contraction into the faintly lavatorial slur 

of ‘brugs’.” (I think one has to be conversant with 

Australian English to appreciate the flavor of this 

comment. In any case, the website is
The book is replete with hundreds (perhaps 

thousands) of full-color pictures, carefully chosen, 

properly labeled, and positioned to amplify the 

accompanying text. The book designer is Stan 

Lamond, who deserves special mention. He has 

taken a scholarly manuscript and a very large file 

of photographs and turned them into a minor work 

of art.
–Neil A. Harriman, Biology Department, University 

of Wisconsin–Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA.

background image


Books Received

Dispersal Ecology and Evolution. Jean Colbert, Michel Baguette, Tim G. Benton, and James M. Bullock 

(eds.). 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0-19-960890-4 (Paper US$74.99) 462 pp. Oxford University Press, New York, 

New York, USA.
Medicinal Plants of China, Korea, and Japan: Bioresources for Tomorrow’s Drugs and Cosmetics

Christophe Wiart. 2012. ISBN-13: 978-1-4398-9911-3 (Cloth US$149.95) 454 pp. CRC Press, Boca Raton, 

Florida, USA.
Protocols for Micropropagation of Selected Economically-Important Horticultural Plants. Maurizio 

Lambardi, Elif Aylin Ozudogru, and Shri Mohan Jain (eds.). 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1-62703-073-1 (Cloth 

US$159.00) 490 pp. Humana Press, Springer Science+Business Media, New York, New York, USA.

225 West 34th Street, Suite 1412
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For over forty years, Lane Science Equipment has been the name 

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To learn more about our Herbarium Cabinets or any of our other products,

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Plant Science 


                                                                                  Spring 2013 Volume 59 Number 1

Plant Science Bulletin

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Abstract submission site and  

conference Registration  

5 Participating Societies 

22 Symposia and Colloquia

9 Scientific Field trips to explore the  

Botany of the New Orleans area

11 Workshops 

19 Social Events for Networking

1 dynamic exhibit hall  

the hub of the conference

8 special Presentations 

equals the 


 most relevant scientific  

conference of the summer

Will you be there?

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See you in New Orleans......

Symposia and Colloquia Announced

Join these scientific societies for Botany 2013


Dr. Nalini Nadkarni 

University of Utah

Plenary Speaker - July 28, 2013 


Celebrating diversity  

in the understanding of science:   

Botanists as ambassadors to a  

spectrum of humans

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