Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1958 v4 No 3 Fall
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
VOLUME 4, NUMBER 3, MAY, 1958
HARRY J. FULLER, Editor, 203 Nat. Hist. Bldg., University of Illinois, Urbana. Illinois
TABLE OF CONTENTS
(For the past few years a number of groups of biologists have met to consider what they might suggest for the improvement of teaching, first of introductory college courses, and then, often, of advanced courses. To the Council and to the Education Committee of the Society it seemed imperative to discover what botanists, as botanists, in contrast to their role as biological scientists, thought should be presented to college students. The points of view and the subject matter might be part of a year course in biology, as given in a number of colleges and universities, or presented in a semester or a year course in botany. Baldly, the idea was that if botanists did not say what they considered important, some one else would.
Accordingly, the Society requested and was given a grant from the National Science Foundation to bring together in Washington a representative group of teaching botanists to see whether we could come to some agreement on what botany we thought should be presented in college courses for general students, or for major students. Our discussion led us to what might well precede college and so we made some recommendations concerning high school biology courses.
It should not be thought that all participants were in complete agreement on all points, but it can be said that there was no expressed desire for a minority report. We had the important help of several botanists already in Washington: Hiden T. Cox (AIBS); D. B. Anderson (NFS); Russell Stevens (NRC). The members of the Committee were: L. E. Anderson (Duke); H. P. Banks (Cornell); H. C. Bold (then at Vanderbilt); H. B. Creighton (Wellesley): H. J. Fuller (Illinois); S. S. Greenfield (Newark Colleges of Rutgers); V. A. Greulach (North Carolina); H. J. Oosting (Duke); R. B. Platt (Emory); W. C. Steere (Stanford); K. V. Thimann (Harvard); O. Tippo (Yale); and F. W. Went (Cal. Tech.).
The hope of the members of the Council and the Committee is that the Report will provoke thought and discussion. Also, it may be useful to individuals, to departments, and to anyone concerned with curricula to have in print a statement of the present thinking of a diverse group of botanists on the role that botany plays in the constellation of the biological sciences and in the cultural development of students.)
I. Recommendations Concerning High School Biology Courses:
1. that high school biology courses and textbooks include more subject matter and greater emphasis upon the basic structure, functions, and other aspects of plants, in view of the great importance of plants in human affairs. We recommend further that high school biology courses emphasize particularly the involvement of plants in human life;
2. that all high school teachers of biology complete courses in botany as well as zoology in their college curricula as preparation for teaching of high school biology;
3. that a committee of botanists and zoologists (possibly of the AIBS) study the content of high school biology courses with a view toward making suggestions for their improvement and toward avoiding such complete "integration" of subject matter that plants are inadequately studied;
4. that laboratory and field work with living plants be included and especially emphasized in high school biology courses;
5. that high school biology courses place special emphasis upon the natural history aspects of biology and upon the study of living organisms, with minimal emphasis upon the study of minute anatomical details, biochemical aspects of living organisms, and "molecular biology" (unless the study of high school biology is preceded by the study of chemistry).
6. that, whenever teaching loads, quality of students, and budgets permit, advanced courses in high school botany should be offered as electives for interested, superior students; we suggest that such advanced courses might emphasize local flora, economic botany, and horticultural phases of botany;
7. that, in general, the basic science offerings of American high schools should be a year course in physical science and a year course in biological science, preferably to be studied in that order; we recommend further that a searching revaluation of general science courses be made, with a view to determining whether or not they are adequately meeting their objectives;
8. that some science be included in grade school curricula, so selected and so organized that it will in the main not be duplicated by high school science courses; we believe that excessive duplication of science subject matter in grade schools, high schools, and colleges may cause boredom in students and may consequently reduce the appeal of the sciences;
9. that curricula for the training of grade school teachers include more work in the physical and biological sciences, in view of evidence that many grade school teachers are now inadequately trained in the sciences
and that many of them are uncertain about and lack confidence in their knowledge of science.
II. The Nature of Introductory College Course in Biology:
1. There are three alternative methods of introducing college students to the biological sciences:
2. We recommend a minimum of a one-year general biology course or a minimum of a one-semester course in general botany plus a one-semester course in general zoology for purposes of both general education and pre- professional training. We oppose separate introductory courses in biological sciences for general education students and for majors in biological sciences. The Botanical Society Committee suggests that one semester of botany plus one semester of zoology organization may be especially desirable because of the fact that the study of plants is often relegated to a secondary position in one-year integrated biology courses and because this separate-course type of organization facilitates the teaching of both botany and zoology by specialists in each field.
3. We recommend as much laboratory work as possible with living plants and living animals in such courses (e.g., greenhouse experiments on seed germination, plant growth, grafting, making of cuttings; physiological experiments; work with terraria and aquaria; field trips). We believe that biological science courses which omit laboratory work or which attempt to substitute demonstrations and visual aids for actual laboratory work are generally undesirable, as compared with courses which offer laboratory work.
4. We recommend that the educational emphasis in introductory courses in the biological sciences be placed upon these topics: structure, physiology (including some appropriate material on molecular and biochemical phenomena), and reproduction, especially of higher plants and animals; growth and differentiation; regulation and control; genetics and cytology; classification and evolution of plant and animal kingdoms; evolutionary processes and theories; ecology and conservation; involvements of plants and animals in human life. Certain of these subjects could be integrated, but should be presented with both plant and animal materials (e.g., genetics, cytology, evolution, and ecology). In such treatment, general principles applicable to all organisms should be demonstrated, along with the recognition of the unique aspects of different kinds of organisms. Although living organisms are similar in many ways, there are inherent and basic differences between plants and animals of such importance as to require separate treatment of certain topics, such as structure, reproduction, nutrition, growth and differentiation, systematic surveys of plant and animal kingdoms, etc.
III. Botanical Facts and Principles Which Should Be Taught:
B. List of botanical topics to be emphasized:
1. Structure, physiology, and reproduction of flowering plants, with emphasis upon the natural history aspects of plants, upon the importance of plants in human life, and with structure emphasized in relation to function, so that anatomical and physiological minutiae may be reduced or eliminated: 6 weeks.
2. Survey of the plant kingdom, with emphasis upon the importance, criteria, and methods of classification, and on the evolution of structure and reproduction of plant groups, with the elimination of many life-cycles, with reduced emphasis on the algal phyla (except Chlorophyta), mosses, liverworts, hornworts, horse-tails, and club-mosses, and with greater emphasis upon bacteria, fungi, ferns, and seed plants: 5 weeks.
3. Evolution and inheritance (of both plants and animals): 3 weeks.
4. Ecology, conservation, and biogeography (of both plants and animals): 4 weeks.
5. Historical treatment of several aspects of botany: photosynthesis, plant hormones, mineral nutrition, evolutionary theory, genetics, photoperiodism, antibiotics, etc., such historical treatment to be woven into the study of the topics listed in the four preceding paragraphs.
IV. Studies Which Should Be Included in the Education of All Undergraduate Biology Majors:
Biology majors should include a reasonable balance of courses in both botany and zoology in their training. These courses should include work in physiology, morphology, microbiology, ecology, genetics, systematics, and useful aspects of living organisms beyond the level of introductory courses in biological sciences. If possible, a senior research problem or project should be incorporated into the educational program of every undergraduate biology major. Biology majors should include in their studies at least one course in organic chemistry and those courses in physics, mathematics, geology, and advanced chemistry which may be appropriate to the fields of their major biological interests.
V. The Role of Botany in College Education of All Undergraduates:
We believe that some study of plants should be included in the college work of all undergraduates in order:
1.To make clear the role of plants in the nature cycles, in the maintenance of soil fertility, in erosion
2.To emphasize the dependence of human life upon plants;
3. To develop understanding of certain general principles: inheritance, evolution, interrelationships of living organisms, etc., for the illustration of which plants are especially suitable.
4. To appreciate the development of practical applications of science from research in the basic, "pure" sciences. Basic research in botany has led for many years to practical applications in agriculture, forestry. etc.
5. To clarify the inter-relationship of structure and function in living plants, since plants are susceptible of easy and revealing experimentation.
VI. Relation of the Study of Physical Sciences to the Study of General Botany and/or General Biology:
VII. Visual Aids:
VIII. Publication of this Report:
The Secretary herewith apologizes to officers of the General Section for failing to include an important announcement in the "Call for Papers." The announcement was published in March PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN (p. 5) but is repeated here: the General Section is planning to organize special sessions on development and morphogenesis; if you would like your paper to be included in one of these programs, kindly write "Morphogenesis" on the form giving the title of your paper. If you have already sent in your title, write the Secretary (Dept. of Botany, Univ. of Texas, Austin 12, Texas) who can make the change. Deadline for these papers in- tended for the morphogenesis sessions is May 25; dead- line for submitting titles for papers to be presented at other sessions of the general section and at other sections is still May 19.
The list of Regional Correspondents for PSB is almost complete. Regional correspondents will act as reporters in their respective areas, collecting newsworthy items about fellow botanists and botanical activities in these areas for transmittal to the Editor. Regional Correspondents will establish contacts with other botanists in their assigned regions and will be interested particularly in personal news items (promotions. resignations, retirements, sabbatical leaves, new appointments, deaths); awards and honors received; research requests; meetings of plant science societies or sections of such societies; availability of manuscripts suitable to PBS (e.g., educational aspects of botany, summaries of recent research. addresses of retiring presidents of botanical organizations, committee reports, etc.). The Editor urges all botanists to cooperate with their Regional Correspondents and to communicate with them whenever they have newsworthy items to report or manuscripts to submit. The list of regional correspondents follows:
Regional Correspondents have not yet been selected for Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; announcement concerning the Correspondents for these states will be made in the next number of PSB. Readers will observe that, in some instances, one correspondent will serve two states, in others, two correspondents have been assigned to the same state. These assignments result from the efforts of the Editor to apportion the reporting chores on the basis of the numbers of colleges and universities in each region.
Postscript to Regional Correspondents: the Editor is grateful to those of you who have already sent him news items and is hopeful that the others of you will soon be- gin to send such items to the Editor. In order to save stamp money and time, the Editor is not going to ac- knowledge receipt of each of your communiqués; consider yourselves automatically thanked in advance. News items may be sent to the Editor at any time. Should any of you leave your region or wish to be relieved of your work as correspondent, please notify the editor as soon as possible.
Several members of the society have written to the editor to inquire about the tardiness in appearance of 1958 numbers of AJB from the press. An act of God, rather than inefficiency on the part of the editor, is responsible for the delay; the catastrophically heavy snowstorm which struck Baltimore several weeks ago caused a roof cave-in at the Monumental Printing Co., which prints AJB, and did other damage. The Feb. number had been printed just before the snowstorm, was awaiting shipment, when the entire printing was water-soaked. Reconstruction and cleanup were necessary before the Feb. number could be re-run on the presses. Copy for the March through June numbers is at the printer's, and the later spring numbers should be off the presses in the near future.
Most authors are very patient about the time required for the reviewing and processing of their papers, but occasionally one grows impatient (always. up to this point. in a gentlemanly way!). Authors should remember that reviewers have other duties to perform, that they review papers without fee as a service to AJB, to the authors of papers, and to our science. Some reviewers are able to complete their reviewing tasks very promptly (champion is one reviewer who receives and returns manuscripts within 5 days!), others, beset by chores academic, scientific, and administrative, require longer time (champion is one reviewer who had a paper for 9 weeks!). Please be patient!
The editor, who has suffered a bout of illness this year, has been ordered by his physician to Get Away From It All for several weeks this summer. The editor and his editorial assistant are leaving the editorial offices on June 10 to be gone approximately 8 weeks (note: they are not going away together!). Mss. which reach the editorial, office during their absence will be date-stamped in the order of their arrival for the attention of the editor upon his return in mid-August. Copy for the AJB through the July number will have been proofread and in the hands of the printer before the departure of the editor and editorial assistant. Don't write any letters to the editor between June 5 and August 15.
Northeastern Section of Bot. Soc. will hold its annual foray on June 23, 24, and 25 at Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, Pa. On June 23, a field trip will be made to Spring Creek and Alan Seeger Monument. On June 24, a trip will be made to Alleghany Plateau and to site for collection of Carboniferous Coral Flora, with return to Univ. Park via the Barrens; a business meeting is scheduled for the evening of the 24th. June 25 will include a trip to Bear Meadows. Registration fee: $2.50. For housing and information, address A. R. Grove, Dept. of Botany, Penn. State Univ.
Conversations of the Editor with other botanists indicate that some know of the important toxicology handbooks prepared under the aegis of Division of Biology, National Academy of Science-National Research Council, that other botanists do not. Thus, a note in PSB about these handbooks may bring these valuable works to the attention of all members of Bot. Soc. The list of handbooks follows:
Handbook of Toxicology, Vol. I, 1955--data on acute toxicities to laboratory animals of some 2.000 chemical compounds.
Handbook of Toxicology, Vol. II, 1957--Antibiotics: physical, chemical, biological, and toxicological properties of 340 antibiotics.
Handbook of Toxicology, Vol. III--Insecticides; a multivolume work, now in the hands of the editors of the series; publication date as yet undetermined.
Handbook of Toxicology, Vol. IV--Fungicides; dealing with more than a thousand substances of fungicidal or fungistatic interest; publication date probably 1958.
The series consists of a number of expanded fascicles on topics treated in resume as tables of critical values in "Handbook of Biological Data." published by W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, in 1956. The work has proceeded under basic contract with U. S. Air Force, but receives substantial support from other governmental agencies.
NSF and the Atomic Energy Commission are supporting an Institute of Biology and Radiation Biology for high school teachers at Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, during the 1958 summer. All students will take a course in principles of biology. Students interested in radiation biology will, in addition, take a course in that subject. Students not interested in radiation biology will take a course in biological methods and a course in either botany or zoology.
Part 3 of the "Flora of West Virginia" by P. D. Strausbaugh and Earl L. Core, has gone to press, with publication expected in July 1958. It will include descriptions and illustrations of West Virginia representatives of families Linacea to Plantaginaceae. The fourth and final part of the flora, it is hoped, may be published in 1959 or 1960. The completed work will be over 1000 pages in length. Part 1, including Pteridophyta, Gymnospermae, and Monocotyledonae, was published in 1952, and Part 2, including dicot families from Saururaceae to Leguminosae, appeared in 1953. The Flora is the result of collaboration in field, herbarium, and library studies by the two authors over a period of 35 years, during which every county in the state was surveyed. Most of the pen-and-ink drawings are the work of William A. Lunk of Univ. of Michigan.
William E. Martin, who receives his Ph.D. in botany from Rutgers this year, has been appointed instructor in botany, Univ. of Minnesota, commencing in Sept. 1958.
Walter H. Brown, Illinois Normal Univ., took 27 students on a fortnight's field trip to Florida and the West Indies in late March and early April. This is Dr. Brown's seventh class trip for the study of tropical botany.
Albert Saeger, Univ. of Kansas City, has received a grant from the univ. to build and equip a small green- house with controlled temperature and lighting for studies on Lemnaceae.
John Hamilton, biology prof. at Park College, Parkville, Mo., has received an NSF grant to study at UCLA next year. Henry W. Radloff, now on leave from Park to work toward his Ph.D. at Univ. of Illinois, will be acting chairman of biology during Dr. Hamilton's absence.
Paul L. Redfearn, who recently went to SW Missouri State College at Springfield, is doing field work on bryophytes of the area.
Samuel L. Meyer, formerly head of botany at Univ. of Tenn. and later at Florida State Univ., has resigned as Dean of Central College at Fayette, Mo., to become Academic Vice-president at College of the Pacific, Stockton, Calif., commencing June 15, 1958.
L. J. Gier, William Jewell College, Liberty, Mo., has been selected to attend the NSF-sponsored Conference of College Teachers of Biology, Oregon State College, Corvallis, Oregon, June 30--Aug. 8.
C. Ritchie Bell is acting director of the Coker Arboretum, Univ. of North Carolina.
James Gordon Ogden III, to receive his Ph.D. from Yale in June 1958, has been appointed assistant prof. of botany, Ohio Wesleyan University. Ogden has worked on pollen analysis under Paul B. Sears.
William K. Purves, Delbert C. McCune, and John H. Miller, all working at Yale's botany dept., have had their NSF predoctoral fellowships renewed.
William S. Hillman, working at Yale on a NSF grant with Arthur Galston, now has available long-day, short-day, and day-neutral strains of Lemna.
Among botanists who attended the Parliament of Science, held by AAAS recently in Washington, were Arthur Galston, Paul Sears, Harriet Creighton, Folke Skoog, F. W. Went, and George Beadle.
Ian K. Ross has been appointed instructor in botany at Yale to fill the mycology vacancy which will result from the forthcoming retirement of John S. Boyce. Dr. Ross received his Ph.D. at McGill, is currently a research associate in Dept. of Bacteriology at Univ. of Wisc. His appointment becomes effective July 1.
Kenton L. Chambers and Theodore Delevoryas, instructors in Yale's botany dept., have been promoted to assistant professorships, effective July 1.
Franklin Flint, asst. prof. of biology, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, is spending a sabbatical leave (1957-58) at Pomona, Calif., where he and Dr. Donald Johansen are engaged in cytological research.
Dorothy Crandall, asst. prof. of biology, Randolph-Macon, received the Ph.D. degree in botany from Univ. of Tenn. in Dec. 1957. Dr. Crandall is interested especially in forest ecology of the Great Smoky Mts.
Ruskin Freer, Lynchbury College (Va.), received a grant from the Old Dominion Foundation of Washington, D. C., for continued work on the flora of the Central Virginia Blue Ridge.
Frank B. Salisbury, Colorado State Univ., received a National Science Foundation Grant for two years to study the influence of growth regulating chemicals on photoperiodic responses of plants.
Richard Ward, Colorado State Univ., received an NSF grant to study the ecology of beech forests. Dr. Ward will do most of his research during the 1958 summer in the Lake States area.
L. R. Hesler, Univ. of Tennessee, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts since 1934 and Prof. of Botany since 1919, will retire at the end of the current year. He plans to continue research on southeastern agarics.
W. G. Solheim, Univ. of Wyoming, is spending a sabbatical leave at National Fungus Collections, Beltsville, Maryland.
F. A. McClure, Consultant in Tropical Forestry. Cabot Foundation, Harvard Univ., and Research Associate in Botany, Smithsonian Institution, has just returned from Europe, where he spent 6 weeks studying and photographing type specimens of bamboos, in connection with the completion of a revised treatment of the bamboo genera of the world, for the new edition of Natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. He visited herbaria at Museum of Natural History in Paris and at Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, England, and the British Museum. A brief trip through Eire, at the invitation of the National Dept. of Agriculture, provided opportunity to see a number of species of hardy bamboos cultivated in public and private gardens and to visit a newly established expo station at Glenamoy, County Mayo, where the cultivation of bamboos on the peatlands is being undertaken experimentally as a source of cellulose.
William W. Diehl retired Jan. 31, 1958, after nearly 42 years in the Federal Service. At the time of his retirement he was associated with the foreign service activities of the Agriculture Research Service, USDA.
George Zabka, Ph.D. Univ. of Ill. 1957, who has been working on a post-doctoral fellowship in the lab. of F. G. Gregory, Imperial College of Science & Technology, London, during 1957-1958, has been appointed instructor in botany, State Univ. of Iowa, effective Sept. 1, 1958.
Ronald Bamford, Univ. of Md., has been elected to the Board of Directors of Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies. Also, Dr. Bamford was the first alumnus to be elected to membership in a newly installed chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at his alma mater, Univ. of Connecticut. Besser spät als nie!
In recent years there has been presented at AIBS meetings an increasing number of papers in which plant development has been approached by a combination of methods and concepts derived from morphology, Physiology, and biochemistry. The authors of these papers have had two alternative places of presentation: either before the Physiological Section of Bot. Soc. in joint session with Amer. Soc. of Plant Physiologists or before the General Section of Bot. Soc. The usual result has been a wide dispersion of papers which would have had much more coherence, meaning, and stimulation if they had been presented together.
It has occurred to us that the obvious solution to this problem would be the formation of a new section within Bot. Soc. which tentatively could be called the Developmental Section. The purpose of this section would be to provide a logical place for the presentation of papers dealing with plant development, particularly from interdisciplinary approaches. The section could also serve to organize symposia on topics of common interest and to represent this field on the editorial board of Amer. Jour. Bot. We believe that the existence of such a section would encourage research in the borderline areas between regularly established fields and aid in communication among investigators in such areas.
This proposal for a new section in no sense indicates dissatisfaction or criticism of either the existing sections of Bot. Soc. or of Amer. Soc. of Plant Physiologists. Rather. it reflects a need arising as a result of recent research trends. The organization of Bot. Soc. appears to be designed expressly to accommodate and satisfy such a need. The by-laws of Bot. Soc. state that "The organization of groups, to be known as sections, may be authorized by the Council when such action seems wise." We believe, moreover, that our needs can best be met within the existing Bot. Soc. and we do not feel that an independent organization should be formed. In the recent "Report of the Exploratory Committee in the improvement of organizational representation for developmental biologists," data were published indicating that most developmental biologists felt that their need for a common meeting ground for the presentation of papers, symposia, and for informal discussion should be met within the framework of existing organizations.
Our purpose in publishing the above proposal at this time is to bring it to the attention of members of Bot. Soc. of America so that it may receive broad discussion before and during the next meeting of the Society.
Robert T. Brumfield, Ralph O. Erickson, Katherine Esau, Adriance S. Foster, James E. Gunckel, Charles Heimsch, William Jacobs, William A. Jensen, Leroy G. Kavaljian, Richard M. Klein, Addison Lee, Jean Paul Nitsch, Clarence Sterling, Betty Thomson, Dick S. Van Fleet, Frits Went, Robert Withner.
March PSB carried a brief item concerning the publication of an index of plant chromosome numbers, to appear in annual installments. Each issue of the Index will contain a complete bibliography for counts published in that number.
The first issue, supported in part by a grant from Univ. Research Council of Univ. of North Carolina, will be ready for distribution in May 1958. It will cover 1956 journals, from which over 2,000 listings have been taken. Produced by the offset process on 80 x 11 inch paper and punched for loose-leaf binders, it is priced at $1.00. Advance orders would be helpful in determining the number of copies to print. Orders, which must be accompanied by payment, may be sent to C. Ritchie Bell, Dept. of Botany, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. Car. Further information may be obtained from Marion S. Cave, Research Associate, Dept. of Botany, Univ. of Calif., Berkeley 4, Calif.
The Regents of the University of Michigan recently accepted from Mr. and Mrs. Frederick C. Matthaei a gift of approximately 200 acres of land as a site for a new Botanical Garden for the University. The site is immediately south of Dixboro a few miles east of Ann Arbor and about two miles from the new North Campus. The area has considerable natural beauty and will lend itself to diversified botanical uses. About one-third of the land lies along Flemming Creek, a small tributary of the Huron River, and is heavily wooded. Another third is rolling upland, and the remainder has recently been farmed.
Plans are being prepared for buildings and greenhouses to be placed on the new site. It is not anticipated that there will be a transfer of activities until these are complete. The Botanical Garden was established at the present site about 1915 and now consists of about 40 acres within the city limits of Ann Arbor. There is a total of 17,000 square feet under glass.
Dept. of Biological Sciences, Purdue Univ., has received a grant of $548,000 from National Institutes of Health to supplement research equipment for the new life sciences bldg., into which the department will move in autumn of 1958. The new building was constructed at a cost of over $12,000.000 and includes approximately 5½ acres of teaching, lab., and research space. The Dept. of Biological Sciences includes the Divisions of Bacteriology, Biophysics, General Biology, Plant Sciences, and Zoology, with 33 professors, 8 instructors, and nearly 6.000 students. It is directed by John S. Karling, former secretary and vice-president of Botanical Society of America.
Dept. of Botany and Plant Research Institute of Univ. of Texas are sponsoring a series of lectures during the current spring as part of the observance of the 75th anniversary of the university. Lecturers and their topics are: Torbjorn Caspersson--Quantitative Cytochemistry as a Tool for the Study of Cell Growth and Differentiation; Hans Gaffron--Natural and Artificial Capture of Solar Energy; David R. Goddard--Respiration and Cellular Work; Arnold H. Sparrow--Cytogenetic and Morphogenetic Responses of Plants to Ionizing Radiations; Alfred E. Mirsky--Some Chemical Aspects of the Cell Nucleus; Carl P. Swanson--
Annual meeting of Midwestern Section of Amer. Soc. of Plant Physiologists will be held this year on June 23 and 24 at Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc. All sessions will be held in the new Wisconsin Center Bldg. on the edge of Lake Mendota. A banquet will be held on Monday evening, June 23 at the Center. On both mornings, three concurrent "Report-Discussion-Retort" sessions will be held for contributed papers not to exceed 5 minutes each in length, so that ample time for discussion will be available. On the afternoon of June 23 there will be a symposium on "Spore Germination and Dormancy in Cryptogams," on the afternoon of June 24, a symposium on "Organic Acid Metabolism." Further information may be obtained from Alfred S. Sussman, Secretary-Treasurer, Dept. of Botany, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Robert B. Withrow, chief of Division of Radiation and Organisms, Smithsonian Institution, died on April 7 at Univ. of Minnesota at the close of a lecture which he had given on photoperiodism and its medical implications. Death was caused by a cardiac arrest. Withrow was 54.
George Bryan, prof.-emeritus, Univ. of Wisconsin, died on March 7 at the age of 78.
Alfred Gunderson, for many years curator of plants at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, died in Venice, Florida, on Feb. 21 at the age of 80.
Arthur H. G. Alston, distinguished fern taxonomist of British Museum of Natural History, died recently while on vacation in Spain.
Carleton R. Ball, 84, agronomist and executive secretary of Coordinating Committee of TV A, USDA, and State Experiment Stations. Dr. Ball retired in 1943.
Robert H. Miller's note in March PSB about generic names common to both plants and animals has brought several letters to the Editor's desk, listing a number of additional examples: Arenaria--a caryophyllaceous genus and a genus of birds; Corydalis--a fumewort and dobson-fly; Crucibulum--a fungus and a gastropod; Smithia--applied to genera in Guttiferae, Leguminosae, Convolvulaceae, Coelenterata, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Mollusca, and Protozoa; Jonesia--a legume and a crustacean; Fritillaria--applied to genera in Liliaceae and in tunicates; Hystrix--a grass and a porcupine; Drosophila--an agaricaceous fungus and a fruit fly.
One correspondent, who sent one of these examples to the Editor, commented, "While you will probably get letters mentioning others, I doubt whether there are very many." . . . Next day's post brought a long letter from a botanist, who modestly wants his anonymity preserved and who wrote thus: "I sat down and started to systematically check the genera in Dalle Torre & Harms' Register against those in Neave's zoological index. The results are quite a revelation, for on just the first three pages of DT&H I found 25 generic names that are duplicated in Neave's list of animal names! The list reads like this: Abbotia, Abiga, Abroma, Abronia, Acaena, Acantharia, Acanthella, Acanthium, Acanthocalyx, Acanthocarpus, Acanthocephalus, etc. If this is a representative frequency, one might expect to find roughly 4,600 names in DT8H alone that are shared by animals, since the Register has 568 pages. Doubtless many of these are no longer valid names, but I'd still bet that if one looked into it more thoroughly he could turn up thousands of examples of animal-plant homonyms that are in current usage." This same correspondent writes further: "Dr. Miller would probably be interested in knowing that Milleria has been used in Compositae, Echinodermata, Lepidoptera, and Coelenterata." This correspondent recommends that persons especially interested in biological terminology consult Roland W. Brown's "Composition of Scientific Words," which may be purchased for $8 from the author, U. S. National Museum, Washington 25, D. C.
Central States Section of Bot. Soc. will hold its 1958 foray at Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale, Ill., Aug. 20--23. Trips will be made in the unglaciated section of Southern Ill. to Giant City State Park, cypress swamps, hill prairies, rock ledges, limestone glades, and other points of interest. Write to H. F. Thut, Dept. of Botany, Eastern Illinois Univ., Charleston, for information about sleeping arrangements and other features of this foray.