Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1968 v14 No 1 Spring
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
April, 1968 Volume Fourteen Number One
The Evening Primrose Path1
It is not clear to me just why the phrase "primrose path" is considered to connote a life of worldly or sensual pleasures, but if this is true, then certainly one should expect even greater pleasures of these kinds in pursuit of prim-roses that flower in the evening. Having spent close to thirty years in this pursuit, I shall now ask you to join inc as we shall, in the words of Shakespeare's Macbeth, "go the primrose path to the everlasting bonfire."
If any nonbotanists may be in the audience, I should mention that the genus of evening primroses is Oenothera, a group that is only distantly related and not even in the same plant family with the true primroses, genus Primula. But there are a number of reasons why Oenothera rather than Primula has attracted the attention of so many botanists. Why then have we been concerned more with the "evening primroses" than with the primroses that flower during the day? Parenthetically, I should mention that at least a few of the Oenotheras, or so-called "evening prim-roses," actually are day-flowering like their nonrelatives, the Primulas, but the habits of these nonconformists really have not been of any major concern to us.
The genus Oenothera gained its modern fame at the turn of the century when the Dutch botanist, Hugo de Vries published his monumental studies on "The Mutation Theory." De Vries was an experimental scientist and felt that the evolutionary theories proposed by Darwin ought to be amenable to experimental analysis. With this in mind he searched the countryside near Amsterdam for plants that might be useful for such studies, and in 1.886 he found an abandoned potato field near Hilversum, Holland, that was essentially a pure stand of Lamarck's evening prim-rose, Oenothera lamarckiana, This was not a native species, for, indeed, all Oenotheras have apparently come from the Americas. Oenothera lamarckiana was probably native to northwestern United States, but its actual origin re-mains unresolved. It was, and perhaps to some extent still is, grown as a garden plant in many parts of the world. Its principal fault in gardens, including mine, is that it often grows and reproduces only too efficiently and tends to become weedy.
De Vries noted that most of the thousands of plants
1Address of the President of the Pacific Division, American Association for the Advancement of Science, presented June 20, 1967 at Los Angeles, California.
at Hilversum were identical, but a few showed some differences. When he grew the aberrant plants in his gar-den at Amsterdam, the "different plants" bred true as did the more common type. But when he grew thousands of progeny from selfed seeds of the common type of O. lamarckiana, a few aberrants showed up in each generation, and when self-pollinated, these gave rise to essentially a uniform progeny. In other words, spontaneous changes in heredity occurred. De Vries termed such changes, mutations, and we have continued the use of this term for spontaneous hereditary changes in all organisms. Between 1888 and 1899 de Vries grew seven generations including approximately 50,000 plants. From these over eight hundred mutations were recorded or about 1.6 per cent of the total. Seven different mutants were included among these eight hundred individuals. One of these, which de Vries called "gigas," occurred only once, whereas the others occurred more than once and among several to many individuals in a single generation. Mutant oblonga, for example, occurred in five of the seven generations for a total of 350 individuals. Mutant nanella occurred in all seven generations and in a total of 158 individuals. De Vries continued this work and his interest in the phenomenon of mutation for the remainder of his life. He died in 1935. Mutations were soon to be recorded for other organisms, and with the beginnings of Drosophila genetics by Morgan and his students in 1910, the phenomenon of mutation became an established fact.
At about this time the primrose path began to show its true and devious nature. It has proved not as straight a path as de Vries at first imagined, and he was at first reluctant to recognize its detours. As one of the principal rediscoverers of Mendel's Laws, de Vries knew that an F1 generation obtained by crossing two species or varieties should be uniform and that segregations into multiple classes should not be expected until the Ft generation produced its progeny. In Oenothera the reverse was true. When he crossed two species, he obtained two or more kinds of F1 progeny, and when these were selfed, each of them bred true.
Beginning in 1914, Renner in Germany and Bartlett in this country independently began to see what has proved to be the correct interpretation. They found that Oenothera lamarckiana and many of the other species they studied were, indeed, not pure species but hybrids which were capable of breeding true to type, of never, or hardly ever, segregating homozygous forms which might represent the pure species from which they presumably had been
derived. A satisfactory explanation of just how such subversive non-Mendelian behavior is possible required many years for its solution, and some problems remain to this day. Renner showed that lethal factors, later to be designated as balanced lethals, accounted for the nonsurvival of the homozygous segregates, but how a single pair of balanced lethals could control the segregation of all of the genes on seven pairs of chromosomes was left unresolved until Cleland began his cytological studies in the 1920's. An earlier ingenious guess was that one pair of chromosomes contained all of the genes by which the various species differed, and the other six pairs of chromosomes bore genes common to the genus. Cleland's discovery that the chromosomes often formed groupings much larger than pairs and that the number of chromosomes in these groupings were essentially consistent for each species provided a mechanism for the regular segregation of multichromosomal linkage groups and the effective operation of the balanced lethals. Work on another and unrelated genus, Datura, by John Belling provided a unifying principle to explain the formation of rings of chromosomes in Oenothera during the first meiotic prophase. Cleland working with Blakeslee, Emerson with Sturtevant, and still others in Europe working independently and at about the same time, were able to show that Belling's segmental inter-change hypothesis was, indeed, the explanation for the attachments of nonhomologous chromosomes forming rings in Oenothera.
We now know that only a few of the types de Vries described as mutations are mutations in the modern sense. His mutant "gigas" proved to be a tetraploid; other of his changed forms were later proved to be trisomics, and some were homozygous segregations that became viable follow- ing the crossing-over of lethals that ordinarily blocked their survival. Although de Vries did discover some true mutations in his later studies, it is probably fair to state that he established one of the major principles of modern genetic biology upon evidence that failed to illustrate this principle. This detour of the primrose path became a major turnpike.
When I began my own work with Oenothera late in the 1930's, the primrose path had already been well trod. It was by no means a straight path but one with many blind branches, some well trod, others barely perceptible. One of these by-ways that had been explored to some extent in Europe but only very little here involves subgenera other than the one upon which practically all of the classic work of de Vries, Renner, Cleland, etc., had been based. Oenothera lamarckiana, O. biennis, and related species are included in the subgenus Oenothera. Depending upon whose classification one follows, there are eight to four-teen other subgenera. The largest of these, the subgenus Raimannia, is the one with which my work began. In my initial studies I examined 14 of the 19 species recognized by Dr. Munz as belonging to the subgenus Raimannia. Their cytogenetic behavior conformed in general with what had already been found for subgenus Oenothera. A principal difference was the diversity of cytological behavior that I found for different races of a single species. Where-as the number of chromosomes in a ring was found essentially consistent for species of subgenus Oenothera, some of the species of Raivumnia ran the gamut from having all 14 chromosomes in a single ring to having all as pairs.
Races of two of the species I studied showed another interesting phenomenon, that of self-incompatibility. At the time this seemed to be just another of the diversionary trails off the major primrose pathway, but it now appears to have important connections back to the major road of evening primrose phenomena and, indeed, shows promises of more general application to the entire field of generics. It is the area that now commands most of my attention and its description will complete my presentation this evening.
You are aware, I am sure, that most of the flowering plants have both sexes in a single individual plant and that most of these individual plants are capable of setting seed from their own pollen. Exceptions to this rule include several types of self-incompatibility. In the late 1930's Dr. Sterling Emerson showed that Oenothera organensis, an "offbeat" species native to the Organ Mountains of New Mexico and what are now part of the White Sands Proving Grounds, has a well-developed genetic system for a simple type of self-incompatibility. I found basically the same system in O. rhombipetala. My earlier studies were based largely upon rhombipetala, but the perennial habit of Emerson's organensis and the ease of continuing its clones by means of cuttings have led me to do much of my subsequent work with clones that Dr. Emerson had established.
O. rhontbipetala produces many flowers on each stalk and several are in bloom each day. Flowers are produced singly in O. organensis, but owing to the ease with which
new plants of the same clone can be produced by vegetative propagation, a large number of flowers of identical genotype can readily be obtained. The individual flower is relatively large and, therefore, easily manipulated. In most of our work styles are excised from unopened buds and placed on moist filter paper in large petri dishes. After varied procedures the stigmas are pollinated. What happens next can be illustrated by using color symbols to distinguish the three clones with which we are working. We shall assume that the °green" clone produces green and yellow pollen, the "orange" clone, red and yellow pollen, and the "purple" clone, red and blue pollen. Neither of the pollen grains produced by the "green" clone will grow tubes into the stigma and styles of this clone, but both the blue and red types of grains, and, in-deed, any other than those genetically like the grains produced by the "green" plant, grow readily into the "green" stigmas. Similarly, the "orange" stigma inhibits growth of yellow and red pollen, and the "purple" stigma, by the same type of mechanism, inhibits red and blue grains. Actually we designate these alleles, not by colors but by an S number, assigning two numbers to each diploid plant and especially its stigmas and styles, one number to each type of haploid pollen grain. This scheme is illustrated in Figure 1. As shown, the pollen produced by a plant will
not function on the stigmas and styles of the same plant. The S3 grains, for example, will not grow into styles of the S;S+ or S: S:;. plant but do grow into the S27S23 styles; S4 grains grow into both S37S28 and S3S33 styles. Pollen grains will grow only into styles lacking the S allele contained in the pollen grain.
These genetic phenomena have been understood since the time of East and Mangelsdorf's work in the 1920's, but their physiological and biochemical bases are only now being explored. In my own work I wished first to locate as closely as possible the sites in the stigma and styles where inhibition occurs. This was accomplished by means of stylar grafting procedures basically similar to those previously employed by Yasuda with Petunia and Emerson on O. organensis. By rejoining the cut ends of styles in a drop of lactose-gelatin and covering the point of juncture with a lens-paper "splint," it was possible to obtain appreciable growth of pollen tubes from compatible tissues into styles whose stigmas would otherwise inhibit the growth of tubes of this same genetic constitution. In additional experiments, tubes were grown in tandem fashion with the cut end of a style joined to a stigma lobe, as well as in reverse tandem positions with two cut styles joined so that their stigmas faced in opposite directions. The path of the pollen tubes was easily checked by crushing the styles or stigmas between glass slides and staining the tissues in an I-KI solution. Extensive growth of pollen tubes occurred in compatible styles up to the tip of grafted incompatible stigmas but there was no growth into stigmas. When compatible stigmas were used, most of the pollen tubes continued their growth through the graft juncture and into the tissues of the stigma. To summarize our findings, we observed that complete inhibition occurs in the stigma, only partial inhibition in the style; from this we were able to suggest that an hypothetical incompatibility substance is formed in the stigmas, and some of this either moves into the styles or is synthesized there in lesser concentrations.
Our next problem was somehow to counteract or re-move the incompatibility substance. After many trials and errors we succeeded in accomplishing this by placing the excised styles in water at 50°C for 5 minutes, then keeping them at 27°C for 24 hours before pollination. Appreciable reduction of incompatibility occurs immediately following the 5-minute treatment, but the maximum growth of pollen tubes into otherwise incompatible styles required the 24-hour delay between treatment and pollination. It was found that storage of the treated styles in a refrigerator at about 4°C following the heat treatment did not allow the further degradation of the incompatibility such as occurred at 27°C. This suggested that a biochemical process and not merely a physical change such as diffusion must be involved. In other experiments one of my students, Dr. Sudhir Kumar, obtained some degree of destruction of the incompatibility substance by long treatments with ultraviolet irradiation. Using a lamp having maximum emission at 2540 Angstroms, he obtained some degree of effect after a 2-hour exposure and an even greater effect following a 4-hour exposure to the ultraviolet. The heat treatments have been used success-fully also with Oenothera rhombip,etala, and with this species treatment of only one to two minutes has proved effective.
Now we are trying to see whether we can determine what it is we are changing by these treatments, but thus far we have failed to extract any active substances from the tissues. Maybe an answer will come from the work we have projected for the coming summer. Whenever the answer may come, we shall be able to say, in the words of Robert Louis Stevenson,
Life is over, life was gay
We have come the primrose way.
Interest-Arousing Books and Articles in Botany
Irving W. Knobloch Michigan State University
Teachers of botany s e l d o m have time to dwell on background or general interest materials in the subject. Many teachers do publicize books which should be read in addition to the textbook, but the use of this technique is not exploited as much as it should be. Below are listed some titles which most students could peruse with profit and which should be in most college libraries.
PLANTS OF THE WORLD by H. C. D. de Wit. Vols. 1 and
EXOTIC PLANTS OF THE WORLD by Marcel Belviane,
Trans. by Anthony J. Huxley. 1.957, New York, Hanover House.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF SCIENCE by Sheldon J. Lachman.
1.956, Detroit, The Hamilton Press (an excellent primer on science).
EDWARD PALMER, PLANT EXPLORER OF THE AMERICAN
WEST by Rogers McVaugh. 1956, Norman, Univ. Oklahoma Press.
AMERICAN BOTANY, 1873-1892, DECADES OF TRANSITION by Andrew D. Rodgers, III. 1944, Princeton, Princeton Univ. Press.
NATURALISTS OF THE FRONTIER by Samuel W. Geiser.
1948, Dallas, Southern Methodist Univ. Press. EVOLUTION by Ruth Moore. 1962, Life Nature Library, New York, Time Inc.
THE PLANTS by Frits W. Went. 1.963, Life Nature Library, New York, Time Inc.
FOLKLORE AND ODYSSEYS OF FOOD AND MEDICINAL
PLANTS by Ernst and Johanna Lehner. 1962, New York, Tudor Publishing Co.
FOLKLORE AND SYMBOLISM OF FLOWERS, PLANTS AND
TREES by Ernst and Johanna Lehner. 1961, New York, Tudor Publishing Co.
PLANT DRUGS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD by Norman
Taylor. 1965, New York, Dodd, Mead & Co.
THE ANCIENT AND MODERN USE OF PLANT ARROW
POISONS by R. H. Cheney. Scientific Monthly 23: 552-555. 1926.
THE GOLDEN BOUGH by James G. Frazer. 1951, New York, Macmillan Co.
MARCO POLO by Manuel Komrof f. 1952, New York, Messner.
GREEN MEDICINE by Margaret B. Kreig. 1964, Chicago, Rand McNally.
SELECTED BOTANICAL PAPERS by Irving W. Knobloch.
1963, New York, Prentice-Hall Co.
THE DESERT by A. Starker Leopold. 1961, New York, Time Inc.
THE NORTH AMERICAN DESERTS by Edmund C. Jaeger.
1957, Stanford, Stanford Univ. Press.
DESERT WILDFLOWERS by Edmund C. Jaeger. 1941. Stanford, Stanford Univ. Press.
THE WONDERFUL LIFE OF FLOWERS by Paul Jaeger.
1961, New York, E. P. Dutton.
OF HERBS AND SPICES by Colin Clair. 1961, New York, Abelard-Schuman.
THE ADVANCE OF THE FUNGI by Ernest C. Large. 1962, New York, Dover.
FLOWERING EARTH by Donald C. Peattie. 1961, New York, Viking Press.
PLANTS, MAN AND LIFE by Edgar Anderson. 1952, Boston, Little, Brown and Co.
THE FOREST AND THE SEA by Marston Bates. 1960, New York, Random House.
HUNGER AND HISTORY by E. Parmalee Prentice. 1951, Caldwell, Idaho, Caxton Printers.
GREEN LAURELS: THE LIVES AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF GREAT NATURALISTS by Donald C. Peattie. 1936, New York, Simon and Schuster.
THE MOLDS AND MEN by C. M. Christensen. 1951, Minneapolis, Univ. Minnesota Press.
THE WORLD WAS MY GARDEN by David Fairchild. 1938, New York, Scribners.
THE WORLD GROWS ROUND MY DOOR by David Fair-
child. 1947, New York, Scribners.
GARDEN ISLANDS OF THE GREAT EAST by David Fair-,
child. 1948, New York, Scribners.
ALGAE AS FOOD by H, W. Milner. 1953, Scientific American 189: 31-35.
THE RELATION OF PLANTS TO PUBLIC HEALTH by Wil-
liarn T. Pen f ound. Economic Botany 7: 183-187. 1953.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE POTATO by R. N. Salamon.
Scientific American 187: 50-56. 1952.
CINNAMON—SPICE THAT CHANGED HISTORY by Alice
L. Wood. Natural History 65: 532-536. 1956. MOLDS AND MEN by Ralph Emerson. Scientific American 186: 28-32. 1952.
HORSETAILS by J. H. Gerald. Natural History 62: 352-354. 1953.
DIATOMS SERVE MODERN MAN by J. E. Harris. Natural History 65: 64-71. 1956.
LICHENS by I. M. Lamb, Scientific American 201: 144-156. 1959.
KELP, GIANT AMONG THE ALGAE by Hazel Mohler.
Nature Magazine 52: 406-408. 1959.
YEASTS by A. H. Rose. Scientific American 202: 136-146. 1960.
ESSENTIAL. OILS by A. J. Haagen-Smit. Scientific American 189: 70-75. 1953.
LIGNIN by F. F, Nord and W. J. Schubert. Scientific American 199: 104-113. 1958.
ENZYMES by John E, Pfeiffer. Scientific American 179: 28-39. 1948.
DNA by John E. Pfeiffer. Natural History 69: 8-15. 1960.
CELLULOSE by R. D. Preston. Scientific American 197: 156-168. 1957.
POWERHOUSE OF THE CELL by P. Siekevitz. Scientific American 197: 1.31-1.40. 1957.
LEAF SHAPE by Eric Ashby. Scientific American 181: 22-29. 1949.
TREE RINGS AND STINSPOTS by J. H. Rush. Scientific American 186: 54-58. 1952.
AUTUMN COLORS by K. V. Thinzana. Scientific American 183: 40-43. 1950.
WooD STRUCTURE by Simon Williams. Scientific American 188: 64-68. 1953.
THE FERTILIZATION OF FLOWERS by Verne Grant. Scientific American 184: 52-57. 1951.
POLLEN, WONDER DUST OF NATURE by Donald C. Peat-tie. Nature Magazine, October 1946.
BRISTLECONE PINE, OLDEST KNOWN LIVING THING by Edmund Schulman. National Geographic Magazine 113: 355-371. 1958.
THE TREE AS AN INVENTION by C. D. Stewart. Atlantic Monthly 143: 433-441. 1929.
VEGETABLE VOYAGERS by Albert Herre. Nature Magazine 39: 485-488. 1946.
.FLOWERS IN THE ARCTIC by Rutherford Platt. Scientific American 194: 88-94. 1956.
THE PLANTS OF KRAKATOA by Frits Went. Scientific American 181: 52-54. 1949.
PLANT MOVEMENTS by Victor A. Greulach. Scientific American 192: 101-106. 1955.
THE RISE OF WATER IN PLANTS by Victor A. Greulach. Scientific American 187: 78-82. 1952.
THE ROLE OF LIGHT IN PHOTOSYNTHESIS by Daniel I.
THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM OF PLANTS by Susan Biddulph and Orlin Biddulph. Scientific American 200: 44-49. 1959.
GLOW PLANTS by Y. Haneda. Natural History 65: 482-484. 1956.
THE LUMINESCENCE OF LIVING THINGS by E. Newton Harvey. Scientific American 178: 46-49. 1948.
ATP by Paul K. Stumpf. Scientific American 188: 84-93. 1953.
MOVEMENT OF ORGANIC SUBSTANCES IN TREES by Mar-
tin H. Zimmerman. Science 133: 73-79. 1961.
ers Digest 61: 45-48. 1952.
THE GROWTH OF MUSHROOMS by John T. Bonner. Scientific American 194: 97-106. 1956.
W4-IAT MAKES LEAVES FALL by W. P. Jacobs. Scientific American 193: 82-89. 1955.
GERMINATION by Dov Koller. Scientific American 200: 75-84. 1959.
ABSCISSION by R. M. Muir and R. E. Yager. Natural History 67: 498-501. 1958.
LIFE'S MYSTERIOUS CLOCKS by Frank A. Brown, Jr. Saturday Evening Post. December 24, 1960.
THE CLOCKS OF LIFE by S. B. Hendricks. Atlantic Monthly 200: 111-115. 1957.
THE ECOSPHERE by LaMont C. Cole. Scientific American 198: 83-92. 1958.
RADIATION AND THE CELL by A. Hollaender and G. E.
Stapleton. Scientific American 201: 94-100. 1959. LIGHT AND LIFE by George Wald. Scientific American
201: 92-108. 1959.
CHEMISTRY IN PLANT SOCIETIES by James Bonner. Natural History 68: 508-513. 1959.
STRANGLER TREES by 7'. Dobzhansky and Joao Murfa-
Pires. Scientific American 190: 78-80. 1954. WEED CONTROI. BY INSECT by James K. Holloway. Sci-
entific American 197: 56-62. 1957.
ACACIA IS AN ANT PALACE by Ross E. Hutchins. Natural History 66: 496-499. 1957.
PREDATORY FUNGI by J. J. Maio. Scientific American 199: 67-72. 1958.
WHERE IS THE POPULATION BOOM TAKING US? by Paul B. Sears. Science Digest 48: 14-20. 1960.
SPORE LIBERATION IN THE HIGHER FUNGI by C. T. In-gold. Endeavor 16: 78-83. 1957.
THE MOMENT OF FERTILIZATION by R. D. Allen. Scientific American 201: 124-134. 1959.
IN QUEST OF FERN SEED by Donald. C. Peattie. Atlantic Monthly 185: 35-37. 1950.
THE DOUBLE LIFE OF THE FERN by Hugh Spencer. Nature Magazine 45: 40-43. 1952.
THE EVOLUTION OF SEX by P. A. Zahl. Scientific American 180: 52-55. 1949.
GENES AND CHEMICAL REACTIONS IN NEUROSPORA by
George W. Beadle. Science 129: 1715-1719. 1959. THE STRUCTURE OF THE HEREDITARY MATERIAL by
F. H. C. Crick. Scientific American 191: 54-61. 1954. NUCLEAR CONTROL OF THE CELL by Helen Gay. Scien-
tific American 202: 126-136. 1960.
PARTNER OF THE GENES by T. M. Sonneborn. Scientific American 183: 30-39. 1950.
How FLOWERS CHANGED THE WORLD by Loren Eiseley. Science Digest 45: 70-75. 1959.
THE BEGINNINGS OF COAL- by R. E. Janssen. Scientific American 179: 46-51. 1948.
DARWIN'S MISSING EVIDENCE by H. B. D. Kettlewell, Scientific American 200: 48-53. 1959.
READINGS IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE, 2nd ed., by Irving W. Knobloch. 1967, New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts.
PLANT LIFE OF THE PACIFIC WORLD by Elmer D. Merrill. 1946, New York, Macmillan Co.
PLANT LIFE IN MALAYA by R. E. Holttum. 1954, Lon-don, Longmans, Green & Co.
THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST by P. W. Richards. 1952, Cambridge, Cambridge Univ. Press.
THE WORLD OF FLOWERS by Herbert Reisigl. 1965, London, B. T. Batsford Ltd.
THE CARNIVOROUS PLANTS by Francis E. Lloyd. 1942, Waltham, Chronica Botanica Co.
FLOWERING TREES OF THE WORLD by Edwin A. Men-
ninger. 1962, New York, Hearthside Press Inc.
THE STORY OF LIVING PLANTS by Charles E. Olmstead.
1938, Chicago, University of Knowledge Inc.
THE GREEN EARTH by Harold W. Rickett. 1943, Lan-
caster, Jacques Cattell Press.
BOTANY AND OUR SOCIAL ECONOMY by Alexander Mar-tin. 1948, National Wildlife Federation, Washing-ton, D.C.
THE PLACE OF BOTANY IN THE LIFE OF THE UNIVERSITY by C. D. Darlington. 1954, London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd.
THE COMPLEAT BOTANIST by Aaron J. Sharp. Science 146: 745-748. 1964.
PLANTS AND HUMAN HISTORY by P. Maheshwari. 1965, Hyderabad, Osmania University.
PLANTS, A GUIDE TO PLANT HOBBIES by Herbert S. Zim. 1947, New York, Harcourt Brace.
PLANTS AND HUMAN ECONOMICS by Ronald Good. 1933, Cambridge, The University Press.
PLANTS AND MAN by Clarence J. Hylander and Oran B. Stanley. 1947, Philadelphia, Blakiston Co.
PLANTS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD by Bertha S. Dodge.
1959, Boston, Little, Brown and Co.
EDIBLE WILD PLANTS OF EASTERN NORTH AMERICA by
Merritt L. Fernald and Alfred C. Kinsey, rev. by Reed Rollins. 1958, .New York, Harper & Row.
PHANTASTICA, NARCOTIC AND STIMULATING DRUGS,
THEIR USE AND ABUSE by Louis Lewin. 1964, New
York, E. P. Dutton & Co.
THE DOUBLE HELIX by James D. Watson. 1968, New York, Antheneum.
THE HOOKERS OF KEW by Mea Allan, 1967, London, Michael Joseph.
FLOWERS FOR THE KING by Arthur R. Steele. 1964,
Durham, Duke Univ. Press.
Edmund Ware Sinnott (1888-1968)
On January 6, 1.968, Edmund W. Sinnott, Sterling Professor of Botany Emeritus, Yale University, died at the age of 79. The death of this eminent scientist and scholar is a severe loss not only to the botanical world but to the academic community and to the broad spectrum of biological sciences which his distinguished career en-compassed and so greatly enriched.
Professor Sinnott's boyhood interest in natural history, nurtured in the family of a life-long science teacher, eventually led to Harvard where he received both his undergraduate and graduate training. His early scientific work dealt with the anatomy and comparative morphology of higher plants, using the constant, specific characters of form to elucidate taxonomic relationships and evolutionary pathways. Impressed not only by the diversity, but also the constancy of specific plant characters, he turned to studies of the inheritance of form. His classic demonstration of the genetic basis of fruit shape in the Cucurbitaceae laid the foundation for subsequent extensive investigations of the genetics of other structural differences and related developmental patterns. His studies extended throughout the broad range of morphogcnetic phenomena in higher plants, including polarity, correlation symmetry, regeneration, and differentiation. I doubt that any of Professor Sinnott's colleagues or students of this period are likely to forget the enthusiasm and conviction conveyed through these familiar words: "Organic form is the visible expression of an inner relatedness, or biological organization, characteristic of life at every level. This is the most important problem that confronts students of the life sciences."
This productive, experimental period was also marked by his conceptual evolution of morphogenesis—as a distinct discipline, closely related to other areas of biology. A long-time goal, of coordinating this vast body of in-formation into a reference textbook, was realized in 1960 with the publication of "Plant Morphogenesis," bringing focus and recognition to this field as a major concern of biology. Dr. Sinnott's views and conclusions are most aptly summarized in his own words: "Back of all the phenomena of genetics, biochemistry, and physiology stands the important fact that a living thing is an organism, that there is an interrelationship among its parts which is manifest in development, and that if this system is disturbed it tends, by a process of self-regulation, to restore itself. The most evident expression of this organization is the form of the organism and its structures. Morphogenesis, the study of the origin of form, thus assumes a central position in the biological sciences."
Among Professor Sinnott's most valuable and far-reaching contributions are those resulting from a dedication to productive scholarship and teaching. A legion of under-graduates as well as graduate students were influenced by the clarity and enthusiasm of his lectures and by his genuine interest in students. The first editions of Dr. Sinnott's widely used textbooks in botany and genetics were pioneer works. Through subsequent editions they have inspired many generations of students and have reflected the intellectual vigor and virtuosity of this gifted teacher. "The tonic of curiosity and the fresh air of skepticism are sovereign aids for maintaining our minds in that state of health and vigor in which they can steadily assimilate a rich diet of knowledge without becoming sluggish and overfed." This admonition to students, appearing in the first edition of "Botany—Principles and Problems," is perhaps the keynote to a remark-able intellectual vitality which he fortunately maintained throughout his lifetime.
Professor Sinnott's academic career began at Harvard University, where he held an instructorship for two years after completing his Ph.D. From 1915 to 1928 he was Professor of Botany and Genetics at the Connecticut Agricultural College. This was followed by a professor-ship in botany at Barnard College and later by an appointment to the faculty of Columbia University. In 1940 Dr. Sinnott came to Yale, as Sterling Professor of Botany and chairman of the department. It was here, in 1941-1944, that I had the good fortune to begin and complete my doctoral research under Professor Sinnott's guidance. So, also, began a professional association which I was privileged to share for the remainder of his life. It is thus difficult, if not impossible, for me to present an objective view of this man's numerous contributions to biology and to the university he served in multiple capacities, including six years as Dean of the Graduate School, until his retirement from academic duties in 1956. Perhaps the best witness to his fruitful leadership as chair-man of the botany department is the roll call of eminent scientists whose combined range of interest, for a while, constituted one of the most unique and outstanding plant science faculties of all time. The productivity of this group, including graduate students, is well recorded in publications; it is highlighted by the now historic advances in microbial genetics which occurred here during this period.
Among the many honors Professor Sinnott received were election to the National Academy of Science, the Philosophical Society, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also held important offices in numerous professional societies, serving as president of the Botanical Society of America in 1937 and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1948. On the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Botanical Society he was one of the first fifty members of the society to receive the Certificate of Merit. This award emphasizes the diversity of his scientific achievements: "Edmund Ware Sinnott, morphologist, anatomist, geneticist and botanical statesman, for his numerous varied and sustained contributions to plant anatomy, histology, evolution and botanical theory." Recently Yale University paid tribute to Dr. Sinnott, for his unparalleled
service both as a teacher and in the various academic positions which sixteen active years encompassed. This tribute, by the President and Fellows of Yale University, concludes with the following statement: "A loyal son of Harvard, by his stature as a distinguished scientist, administrator, historian and great humanist he brought honor to this university and warm friendship to a legion of admiring colleagues both here and throughout the world."
These are but a few of the landmarks in the career of a dynamic scholar who viewed science as "man's great adventure with the universe." The rich legacy of nearly a half century of Edmund Sinnott's labors will continue to lead the way and challenge others to participate in this great adventure.
Katherine S. Wilson
During 1967, the General Section voted to assess its members $1.00 a year in order to maintain an active roll and to solidify its membership. An active membership list has been assembled from replies to a letter sent to all members of the Botanical Society whose names were followed by a "G" on their Addressograph plates. All society members who may not have received (or answered) the letter and who wish to be included on the section roll and mailing list, please send name, complete address, and $1.00 to Prof. D. W. Bierhorst, Secretary-Treasurer, General Section, Botanical Society of America. Plant Science Building, Box 33, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14850. A receipt will be returned only if a self-addressed post card is enclosed.
Central States Section
The Central States Section of the Botanical Society of America plans a foray for early June 1968 to various wetland and badland areas of North Dakota. The time promises to be a peak flowering period. Accommodations will be available and interested persons are asked to write for further details to Dr. Vera Faccy, Department of Biology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58201.
The Northeastern Section of the Botanical Society of America, in cooperation with the Torrey Botanical Club, announces its summer field meeting to be held at Bishop's University, Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada, June 9-12, 1968. Professor Arthur Langford, Chairman. For further information, write to Prof. Robert K. Zuck, Secretary-Treasurer, Northeastern Section, Botanical Society of America, Department of Botany, Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. Members from other sections are welcome.
Dr. Frederick I. Eilers, formerly of Oberlin College, and Dr. Richard L. Mansell, formerly of the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, are new additions to the staff of the Department of Botany and Bacteriology at the University of South Florida. Dr. Diane Wagner, formerly of California State College, Fullerton and Dr. Harold Humm, formerly of Queens
College, North Carolina, have now become adjunct members of the department.
Dr. Guenther Srotzky, formerly Chairman of the Kitchawan Research Laboratory of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, has joined the Department of Biology, New York University, Washington Square.
NEWS AND NOTES
New Marine Botany Course
The Department of Botany, University of Maryland will offer a course in marine plant biology to be presented during the summer session at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons Island, Maryland. The course will consist of five one-hour lectures and three, 3-hour laboratory sessions for each of the six weeks. Included in the course of study will be an introduction to the taxonomic, physiological, and biochemical characteristics of marine plants which are basic to their role in the ecology of the oceans and estuaries. The course is under the direction of Professor Robert W. Krauss and members of the Mary-land botany department with guest lecturers. Interested persons should write to Professor Krauss, Head, Department of Botany, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20740 for further information.
Annotated Teaching Bibliography
The Commission on Undergraduate Education in the Biological Sciences (CUEBS) is contemplating the formulation of an annual publication for teachers in general courses in biology, botany, and zoology designed to keep them abreast of the significant findings in the field of biology. It has been suggested that each professional society con-tribute a list of "5-6 or maybe 10-12 citations to the most significant publications in its area over the past year. Significance would be judged primarily on overall influence on current thought or concepts in biology." In the absence on sabbatical of Dr. S. N. Postlethwait, who has agreed to work on this project with CUEBS, interested persons are invited to send titles of appropriate publications with brief justifications to Dr. Russell B. Stevens, Executive Director, Division of Biology and Agriculture, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20418.
Stanford Oceanographic Expedition 20 will depart Guayaquil, Ecuador on 16 September 1968 for research in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, and will terminate in Monterey, California on 1 December 1968. The cruise will provide the opportunity for almost all types of "blue water" biological oceanographic research, but will tend to concentrate on the reproductive cycles and food chain relation-ships of the abyssal benthic communities of the region. The Expedition represents an intensive 15 quarter-unit graduate level course in biological oceanography given at sea by a faculty of three. Ten NSF awards covering room and board, transportation to and from the vessel, and full tuition are available. Applicants must be research-oriented graduate students in biology, in good academic standing
and excellent physical and emotional health. Applications will be accepted until 1 June 1968 and advance inquiries are encouraged. Contact Prof. M. Gilmartin, Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, California 93950.
Abstracting and Indexing Services
The Abstracting Board of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature announces the publication of "Compared Activities of the Main Abstracting and Indexing Services Covering Physics, Chemistry and Biology during the Year 1965." Copies may be secured for $5.00 U.S. plus mailing charges from ICSU Abstracting Board, 17 rue Mirabeau, Paris 16e, France.
Senior Fulbright-Hays Awards for 1969-1970
Applications are now being accepted for Fulbright-Hays appointments for university lecturing and advanced re-search abroad during 1969-1970. It is expected that specialists in various of the biological sciences will receive grants for work in about twenty countries. Under the Fulbright program, such specialists have recently served as lecturers in the Republic of China, Finland, Honduras, Iran, Malaysia, Peru, Thailand, the United Arab Republic, and Uruguay, and they have held awards for research in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, India, Italy, Japan, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nor-way, Portugal, and the United Arab Republic.
The basic application requirements are: U.S. citizen-ship; a doctoral degree or equivalent status for research; college or university teaching experience for lecturing appointments; in some cases, proficiency in a foreign language.
Senior Fulbright awards generally consist of a maintenance allowance in local currency to cover normal living costs of the grantee and family while in residence abroad, and roundtrip travel for the grantee (transportation is not provided for dependents). For lecturers going to most non-European countries, the award includes a dollar supplement, subject to the availability of funds; or it carries a stipend in dollars and foreign currency, the amount depending on the assignment, the lecturer's qualifications, salary, and other factors.
For lecturing awards under the 1969-1970 program, application before June 1, 1968 is strongly recommend-ed. The deadline for research applications is June 1, 1968. Application forms, a list of openings in the biological sciences, and details on the terms of awards for particular countries are available from the Committee on Inter-national Exchange of Persons, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418.
Vermont Summer Institute
The Department of Botany, University of Vermont, will offer an NSF-sponsored summer institute in Plant Growth and Development during July and August 1968. The program, for college teachers of botany and biology, will be taught by faculty members of the Department of Botany and invited plant scientists from other institutions and will be held in the laboratories of the new Life Science Building. Further information may be had by addressing Prof. Richard M. Klein, Department of Botany, The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05401.
The Jesse M. Greenman Award of the Missouri Botanical Garden will be given to a botanical systematist for the best thesis paper published during the preceding calendar year. The award of $100 is sponsored by the Missouri Botanical Garden Alumni A s s o c i a t i o n. The first award will be presented during the American Botanical Society Banquet at the 1968 AIBS meetings. Papers submitted should have been published during calendar year 1967 and result from M.S. or Ph.D. thesis research in plant systematics. Papers submitted for consideration should reach the following address before 1 May 1968: David M. Gates, Director, Missouri Botanical Garden, 2315 Tower Grove Avenue, St. Louis, Mo. 63110.
An International Congress of Photosynthesis Research is to be held at Freudenstadt, Germany, June 4-8, 1968. Plenary sessions and section meetings will be concerned with biochemical and biophysical problems connected with the process of photosynthesis. Circular with full information may be secured from Prof. Dr. H. Metzner, Inter-national Congress of Photosynthesis Research, Institut fur Chemische Pflanzenphysiologie, Universitiit Tiibingen, 74 Tiibingen, Germany.
New Palynological Organization Formed
A new scientific organization, named the American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists, was formed in Tulsa, Okahoma in December 1967. The objectives of AASP are to promote the science of palynology, especially as it relates to stratigraphic applications and biostratigraphy; to foster the spirit of scientific research among its members and to disseminate information relating to palynology.
Persons interested in palynology and in the objectives of the Association are invited to membership. Annual dues are $5.00 and membership application forms are avail-able from the Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Alfred Traverse, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802. Other elected officials of the Association are: President, Paul W. Nygreen, Chevron Oil Company; Vice President, D. Colin McGregor, Geological Survey of Canada; Editor, Lewis E. Stover, Esso Production Research Company; and councilors, George R. Fournier, Gulf Oil Corporation; Robert L. Tabbert, Atlantic Richfield Company; and Charles F. Upshaw, Pan American Petroleum Corporation.
"Thoughts on Botany as a Profession" by Dr. Robert M. Page appeared in the previous issue of Plant Science Bulletin. Its authorship is ascribed to George S. Avery and Harriet Creighton and others. It has been called to the attention of the editor of this issue that the name of Dr. Irwin Spear of the University of Texas should be mentioned in this connection because of his considerable contribution to the preparation of the "Careers" pamphlet.