Plant Science Bulletin archive
Issue: 1976 v22 No 4 Winter
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN
A Publication of the Botanical Society of America, Inc.
December 1976 Volume 22 No. 4
Sex Discrimination in Botany and the Biological Sciences. Jean E. Simmons 38
SEX DISCRIMINATION IN BOTANY AND THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Jean E. Simmons Department of Chemistry, Upsala College "Dear God,
Are boys better than girls? 1 know you are one, but please try and he fair:
Discrimination against women in the United States is understandable, but inexcusable; our population is 51.3% female. Consider the economic and psychological competition to the male sex of millions of women with equal education, equal rights, equal access to jobs, and equal ambitions. Conscious and subconscious maneuvers to con-fine women to the lower rungs of the ladder, or to prevent them from ever getting on it, are not entirely surprising.
Does such discrimination exist in botany? Interviews of women botanists provide examples. A botanist working for the federal government since the fifties said, When 1 first applied for a job. I asked about advancement for women, and was told, 'We don't put women into administration.' " From another government worker: The only way I got a step up was to persist, persist, make a nuisance of my-self, until they promoted me to another part of the country."
A botanist at a northeastern university stated that her department head 'realistically' advises women students that they will earn less than men. A professor of botany in a southcentral university said, "I've lived through years of watching men get to be professors in one-third the time it takes us, and always with better salaries. Now, in the financial squeeze, it is openly said that men should get the jobs." One woman pointed out that it had cost her more than $ 175.000 during her career for the privilege of being female.
Discrimination is sometimes accepted, and sometimes not recognized. An assistant professor at a college told me. "There hasn't really been discrimination. Of course the salaries for women are lower." And, "The only real problem during graduate school was the attitude that no one would be surprised if a female did not complete the degree." Her personal worth as a botanist was not disputed; a number of women interviewed said that they were treated with respect as individual scientists. Some with the doctorate were irritated at being called Miss or Mrs. while their male colleagues were addressed as Doctor or Professor.
Do statistics support these comments? Women received 25.8% of the bachelor's and 21.0% of the master's degrees, 1948 through 1960; by 1974 31.2% and 30.5% (2). In 1973 and 1974 the 21.5% of women receiving doctorates finally exceeded the 19.5% of the twenties, having gone through the usual nadir of the fifties, in this case 11.8%. Figures in botany are slightly lower. For example, from 1920 through 1972, 5,072 doctorates were earned in botany, 16.1% by women; in 1973 and 1974, of the 391 earned, 19.9% went to women.
The marked advantage held by men in obtaining grants, assistantships, traineeships, and fellowships in the biological sciences is beginning to disappear. Results of an AIBS questionnaire show government support given about equally to men and women, but in the universities a some-what greater proportion still to men (3). It should be noted that surveys show. at all degree levels, women' grades and test scores rate somewhat higher than those fo men. attributable in part to the selectivity process.
In 1970 women made up 38.6% of those with bache lor's degrees and 32.5% of those with master's in th( 'experienced civilian labor force' of the biological sciences .At the doctorate level they were 12.8% of the work force (The doctorate level accounts for only 15% of all em ployed women bioscientists, but 42% of the men.)
In October 1973, 7.1% of full-time federally employee white collar workers in the biological sciences were women. Of 121 botanists, 25.8% were women, but for botany plus related fields, a dismal 4.4%. Some typical examples are: plant pathology 2.6%; plant physiology 4.0%; micro-biology 29.8%; horticulture 1.0%; forestry 0.1%; agronomy 0.3%; and agricultural management 0.3%. Change may he under way in agriculture. Bachelor's and master's degrees for women have increased from 1.9% to 9.8% between 1948-60 and 1974, doctorates from under one per cent to 4.8%. Great changes in class registrations are reported. At Cornell. for example, only 2 women took Agronomy 312. Feed Crops, in 1971; in 1976 there were 22. Job opportunities for women in applied agriculture are reported as good, but some cautionary comments need to he made. The legacy of the past leaves agricultural schools with a very small number of women on the faculty. Statistics are not easy to interpret, for food science is sometimes incorporated into the agricultural sciences.
Most women bioscientists work in educational institutions. In colleges and universities the percentage of all female faculty members increased from 19.1% in 1960 to 22.0% in 1975. Women hold relatively fewer positions in universities and more in two year colleges and less prestigious institutions; they are employed more frequently at lower ranks and without tenure; their positions are more apt to involve full-time teaching rather than teaching/ research; and they are less likely to hold administrative positions or to he on important councils and committees. The slight amelioration of the last several years is now being undermined by `last hired, first fired.'
Salary discrimination in the biosciences exists in industry, academe, and government. In 1973, corrected for year of doctorate, part-time employment, and the 50% lower percentage of women in high-paying private industry, average salaries for women Ph.D.'s were only 75-80% those of men, from year of doctorate in the thirties to 1972. Salaries for both sexes level off after twenty years of service, the women's at the lower plateau (4). The dollar differential is thus progressively larger with years of service and advancement in rank. Furthermore, women are more apt to suffer unemployment. In 1973, for example, only 0.6% of the men but 4.6% of the women were unemployed in the biosciences.
It must be remembered that these inequities persist in the face of legislation making it illegal, under most circumstances, to discriminate in educational opportunity, job opportunity, and salary on the basis of sex. Moreover, it takes us into affirmative action to compensate for past inequities and provides programs to overcome difficulties placed in the way of women. Change has, however, been
slow, for enforcement is not yet adequate.
What have women in botany accomplished in the face of discrimination? Their work in the early years of the United States has been well documented. The first woman botanist in this country was probably Jane Colden (1724-1766) whose father taught her the then new Linnaean system of classification. She produced an illustrated flora of native plants of colonial New York. Other plant studies, pamphlets, books, and `botanical catechisms' exemplify the major role played by women. It is less well known that the first woman to receive a patent in the U.S. was Mary Kies, in 1809, for a process of straw-weaving. The 8,596 patents granted to women in the 19th century included a number for agricultural machinery. Mozans (5) claims that the cotton gin was invented by Catherine Greene. wife of General Nathaniel Greene, and that she hired a boarder—guess who? Eli Whitney—to build it and to apply for a patent in his name, for fear of ridicule for her work. The earliest development of the mower and reaper is similarly attributed to Mrs. A. H. Manning of Plainfield, New Jersey.
These early accomplishments are surprising in view of restrictions on women's education. The public schools of Boston, established in 1642, were not open to girls until 150 years later. Girls did not have a public high school education in New England until 1852. In 1837 Oberlin College admitted women to a degree program. In 1856 Vassar became the first institution in America for the higher education of women only (10) ; the first scientific institution to open its doors to women was MIT in 1876.
Work in professional societies and women's organizations has traditionally served as an administrative practice ground for women. There are a dozen botanical and related groups affiliated with AAAS, but with very few female representatives. Nor. unlike such organizations as the American Society for Cell Biology and the American Society for Microbiology, do they seem to have produced committees or caucuses of women. Perhaps women botanists find outlet in belonging to women's professional societies as, for example, Sigma Delta Epsilon—Graduate Women in Science, the Eloise Gerry (she was in forestry at the University of Wisconsin) fellowships; American Women in Science; and the Federation of Organizations for Professional Women, an umhrella structure of more than 100 women's societies, committees, and caucuses.
A review of sex discrimination in botany and the biological sciences may appropriately close with Plato's "Nothing can be more absurd than the practice which prevails in our country of men and women not following the same pursuits with all their strength and one mind, for thus the state, instead of being a whole, is reduced to a half." But at another level, one can simply answer the first question posed in this article and say, "No, Sylvia. They are not."
ROBERT W. LONG, 1927-1976 Clinton J. Dawes and Knut Norstog
Since 1973, Bob was on a heavy dialysis schedule (12 hours a week) due to nearly complete loss of kidney function. He died after a normal day of'teaching, research, and advising students. During his years of illness he continued to work a full schedule although repeatedly urged to slow down. In the past year, six books and at least five articles were published under his authorship without relinquishing his teaching duties. He had his work and he was hound to do it. How he managed and at what a cost in misery we can only imagine. Yet he was always the optimist and, though not a stoic, took a dispassionate view of his difficulties. To us his courage was completely magnificent, and we will never forget it.
Robert W. Long was horn in 1927 in Ashland, Kentucky, the only son of Naomi Long and Robert W. Long, Sr., Chief Accountant for the Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation. Bob completed grammar school and high school in Ironton, Ohio and entered Ohio Wesleyan University where he studied under Claude Neal, a botany teacher whom he greatly admired. In 1953. he married Gloria Overstreet whom he met at the University of Indiana where she was an undergraduate music major and he was a graduate student in botany working under the tutelage of Charles Heiser. Bob and Gloria had four children: Celia Rose, 12; Robert W., 15; Nancy Kathleen, 19; and Alice Ann, 20. After his graduation in 1950, he at-tended the University of Indiana and received the Ph.D. in 1954. The title of his dissertation is "A biosystematic investigation of Helianthus giganteus L. and related species." Biosystematics continued to be his chief research
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interest, and for a number of years he was occupied with investigations of breeding systems in Helianthus. Later, he worked with the Acanthaceae, particularly members of the genus Rue/11a, as well as floristic and ecological studies of the vegetation of South Florida. During his career, he authored more than 35 technical papers, about 20 non-technical articles, a number of book chapters and nine books. Foremost among the latter is the Flora of Tropical Florida published in 1971 with Olga Lakela.
Bob served as Instructor at Southern Methodist University (1953-54) ; Associate Professor at Ohio Wesleyan University (1954-62); and as Professor at the University of South Florida (1962-76). He played a major role in the establishment of botanical sciences as a viable field in the University of South Florida, and served as first Chair-man of the Department of Botany and Bacteriology. He guided and developed proposals leading to establishment of undergraduate and graduate degrees in Botanical Science and the establishment of the Ph.D. in Biology at the University of South Florida. He became Curator of the Herbarium in 1963, and Director in 1965. During his tenure the Herbarium became recognized as one of the most important in the Southeast. Bob was directly instrumental in the establishment of the University Botanical Garden in 1968 and served as Chairman of the Botanical Garden Committee.
Although a tireless research scientist and author, he considered himself first and foremost a teacher. He served botanical education at the national level as a commissioner of CUEBS (Commission on Undergraduate Education in the Biological Sciences) during the years 1970-1971, as a consultant for the Office of Biological Education of AIBS, and as a panelist and consultant for the National Science Foundation.
Bob maintained an active interest in academic affairs in the University. He was very active in the formation of a faculty constitution and senate at the University of South Florida. He always advocated the position of faculty rights and spent considerable time in support of his col-leagues, students and the University. He served on many University committees, including the Undergraduate Council. Because of his experience in directing and administering departmental affairs, he acquired a reputation for consistent and wise counseling and his advice was often sought.
Bob was an active member of several professional societies including the Botanical Society of America, American Association of University Professors, and the Association for Tropical Biology. He served as Treasurer for the American Society for Plant Taxonomists, Secretary and later President of the Florida Academy of Sciences, and Editor of the Plant Science Bulletin of the Botanical Society of America.
One of Bob's great professional concerns was that botanical studies not be lost in the current trend toward the merging of biological disciplines. While he had no strong objections to the concept behind mergers, he was greatly disturbed over the frequent loss of botanical curricula as a consequence of departmental mergers. He worried that students would not have the opportunity for the same exposure to botanical subjects that he had enjoyed. He was always the champion of Botany as a valid, indispensible discipline, and readers of the Plant Science Bulletin will remember the thought-provoking articles on this topic that appeared during his editorship.
Regardless of future trends in biological education, Robert Long's work as a student and teacher of botany will endure.
The Environment and Man:
Joe E. Winstead
As the publicity and public awareness grows concerning the problems of survival of man, increased rhetoric is found advocating the development of new political structures, alignments or ethical changes to cope with the potential disasters that loom ahead due to the population expansion. One such change championed by political activists would be to develop or require a global oneness or homogeneous society of man. It would appear that, in a spirit of objectivity, such a proposal should be examined in a biological context. It is the purpose of this brief essay to propose a line of thought and hopefully elicit further discussion concerning, in the simplest sense, an idea of populational (or societal) differentiation in man.
Over the past several years, the synthesis of environmental work has been centered around the ecosystem approach. The development of the ecosystem concept has of course unquestionably been of tremendous value in ecology. Nearly all biologists are able to examine questions of ecological importance from the standpoint of various areas of speciality by their approach to viewing an ecosystem. Every biologist can look into the ecosystem in a different way. Chemical studies, populational analysis and genetic feedback, floral or faunal descriptions can all be integrated within the framework of a delineated ecosystem. More recently. interest in ecosystems has been expanded and various non-biologists have sought to find ways to look into ecosystems. Various creatures have scurried towards the concept with the aim of adding their own viewscopes. From the left (political pun intentional) rushes a group wishing to perhaps blow an access to both natural and man-made ecosystems. This group would hope to gain spiritual, sensual and social benefits from dissecting ecosystems. On the other side newcomers on the scene have included the promoters, the developers, the schemers and politicians, all with various ways to view the ecosystem for gain, whether it be for money, votes, or both. What may be a significant problem in man's use of the ecosystem concept is the oversimplification that the spaceship earth is one simple ecosystem.
Can we adequately speak of man and his societies living in harmony with nature without realization that nature consists of variability of populations and societies? While the Ecosystem Concept rightly points out that the environment, operational or functional, is non-compartmental or holocoenotic, we can not dispute the fact that populations of the ecosystems are structured in both form and in utilization of the resources. In a balanced and mature system there exist fewer dominant organisms, but there is still dominance. Populations of the same species vary in their productivity. If no two organisms in nature share the same niche (niche in the sense of role), can we assume that all populations and individuals of man can, could, or should share the same niche?
To assume that we can develop a monoculture of man would be to develop the dangerous practice of the present frail and susceptible monoculture in agriculture. If we are to enhance and insure the survival of man, it would seem that an ideology of lowering the developed and technological societies to a level of raised underdeveloped peoples where each is given equal food, shelter, education and, what is perhaps worse, equal material resources would be the first ideology to be discarded from a biological view.
To provide all populations and, or societies with the same energy consumption, where each receives no more or no less than other societies, is not compatible with biological systems or with physical laws.
The point of comparing man and natural systems is admittedly difficult; and no one can rightly argue against the fact that our modern western civilization is an over-consumer. Few logical and educated people deny that all men are created equal, but it is obvious that as cultures and societies have developed, some men (populations) have become more equal than others. On a natural basis, is this different than what has evolved and developed in the multitude of ecosystems on the earth?
Does nature or do natural systems exist in a welfare state, or do balanced dominants evolve existing on producers at various levels? It would appear that the vast majority of biological evidence points to an affirmative answer to the latter point. Are not the/ organisms at higher trophic levels (the consumers) dependent upon the producers at different strata, and do not the lower levels exist in harmony with the consumers? Perhaps it is folly for hiologists to make comparisons of the various systems of man with systems in nature. hut those who demand social change could do worse than to at least examine the known workings of ecosystems.
ACTIVITIES OF THE
Dr. Patricia Holmgren. Secretary of the Society, re-ports that only six copies of the Botanical Society's Fifty Years of Botany edited by W. C. Stcerc are still available at a cost of $10 each. Checks payable to the "Botanical Society of America" should be enclosed in the order to Dr. Holmgren at the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. N.Y. 10458.
The Guide to Graduate Study in Botany, a listing of departments offering the Ph.D. in plant sciences, can be obtained for $3 from Dr. Holmgren.
Copies of the abstracts for botanical papers presented at the Tulane AIBS meeting can be obtained from Dr. Holmgren for $2.
The Editor of the American Journal of Botany. Dr. Ernest M. Gifford, announces that the editorial board and the sectional representatives to the AJB have agreed to begin publication (on a trial basis) of Brief Communications in the Journal. The papers must not exceed 1: to 2 printed pages in length (three typed manuscript pages). including illustrative material. These manuscripts will receive the normal review, but may be published sooner than most of the longer articles. The articles should be based on research, should be informative and substantive and not merely accounts of research in progress, and they should he prepared in the format of longer articles.
Dr. Barbara Webster. Treasurer of the Society, wishes to note—with emphasis—that dues for 1977 and biographical information for the Yearbook of the Society will he handled differently this coming year. The envelopes for dues are enclosed in the October 1976 and January 1977 issues of the American Journal of Botany. Members are urged to complete the information section and send the envelope with dues to Dr. Barbara Webster, Treasurer, Botanical Society of America, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. Individual notices will not he sent out. Please take the few minutes before you forget it.
ACTIVITIES OF THE
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL SECTION will award a 550.00 cash prize for the best student paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society in the sessions of the Physiological Section. The paper can be single-authored by the student or authored by the student and the student's advisor, hut the student must have done the major share of conceptional and experimental work. Collaboration between two students is acceptable: the students would share the prize equally. At the time abstracts are submitted to the program chairman, please indicate that this is a student paper.
FOUR TN INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON PHOTOSYNTHESIS will be held 4-9 September 1977 at the University of Reading. Contact Dr. J. Coombs, Tate & Lyle Ltd., P.O. Box 68, Reading RG6 2BX Berkshire, England.
PLANT GROWTH REGULATOR WORKING GROUP will meet 9-11 August 1977 at the Arlington Hotel, Hot Springs. Arkansas. Contact Susan Murphy, Horticulture and Forestry Department. University of Arkansas. Fayetteville. AR 72701.
XIII INTERNATIONAL. GRASSLANDS CONGRESS will he held 18-27 May 1977 in Leipzig, DDR. Contact R. Lemke. 1157 Berlin, Kopenicker Alec 39-57, German Democratic Republic.
SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL TROPICAL. FOLIAGE SHOR1 COURSE will he held in Orlando, Florida at the Sheraton Towers Hotel on 23-26 January 1977. Additional information can be obtained from Dr. Richard W. Henley, Agricultural Research (enter, University of Florida, Rte. 3 Box 580, Apopka. Fl, 32703.
THIRD INTERNATIONAL. CONGRESS OF PLANT PATHOLOGY will be held in Miinchen. Germany on 16-23 August 1978. Additional information can be obtained by writing to Congress Plant Pathology, Biologische 13undesanstalt, Messeweg 11:12 D3300 Braunschweig. Fed. Republic. Deutschland.
SYMPOSIUM ON PLANT "TISSUE CULTURE is being organized by Prof. Boesmans-Coupure, Links 235, 9000 Ghent. Belgium.
SYMPOSIUM ON MUSHROOMS is being organized by Dr. D. W. Robinson. Kinsealy Research Centre, Malahide Road, Dublin 5, Ireland.
A SYMPOSIUM ON SYNTHESIS OF DEMO-GRAPHIC AND EXPERIMENTAL APPROACHES TO THE FUNCTIONING OF PLANTS will be held in the Netherlands on 9-12 May 1977. Contact Dr. I. J. W. Woldendorp at the Institutt voor Oecologisch Onderzoek, Kemperbergerweg 11, Arnheim. Nederland.
BIOCHEMISTRY OF PLANT PHENOLICS meeting to he held 1-7 September 1978 in Ghent. Contact Dr. G. R. Waller. Biochemistry Department. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74074.
REGULATION OF DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES IN PLANTS conference to be held 4-9 July 1977. Contact Plant Biochemistry Institute of the Academy of Science, German Democratic Republic, P.O. Box 250, DDR-401 HalleiSaale, German Democratic Republic.
University Microfilms International announces a new publishing program developed for research specialists. Called "Monograph Publishing on Demand," the program provides a means of publishing scholarly works that can-not be published economically in conventional form. Monographs can be published within three weeks after final acceptance. Additional information can be obtained from Nicholas A. Alter, University Microfilms International, 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.
The W. K. Kellogg Biological Station of Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI 48060 has published an International Directory of Plant Demographers as Technical Report No. 2.
Unipub, Box 433, Murray Hill Station, N.Y., N.Y. 10016 has available a new catalog describing the publications of the International Atomic Energy Agency listing and describing over 700 publications on atomic energy and its uses.
Twelve participants from the United States, Canada, England, India and Australia met on 4-5 September 1976 at the Harvard Forest to discuss the biology and development of members of the monocotyledonous order Helobiae (Alismatidae). This specialized interest is appropriate in view of the evolutionary position of the group, continued uncertainty about many structural, systematic and ecological features and their distinctive biochemical aspects. Further information on the meeting can he obtained from Dr. P. B. Tomlinson at the Harvard Forest, Petersham, MA 01366.
The curators of the Herbarium of Texas A & M University are seeking other institutions interested in receiving herbarium specimens of vascular plants collected in South-Central and East Texas. There arc more than 15,000 specimens to be distributed during the coming year. These specimens are available in exchange for other specimens with fungi, lichens, mosses, liverworts, ferns and conifers preferred. Contact Dr. John J. Sperry or Dr. Robert S. Egan, Department of Biology, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843.
The American Association of Nurserymen, Inc. re-quests the support of the botanical profession in urging the construction of a new entrance to the National Arboretum whose development is in doubt because the land to be used will be removed from the tax rolls. Please contact the National Capitol Planning Commission, 1325 G St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20576 to urge support for this addition.
Included among the Fulbright-Hayes Scholars for 1976-1977 were Drs. Frederick T. Addicott (University of California, Davis), Eldon H. Newcomb (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Lorin Roberts (University of Idaho, Moscow), David S. Seigler (University of Illinois, Urbana).
Dr. T. T. Kozlowski, Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin was the recipient of the Arboricultural Research Award of the International Society of Arboriculture for 1976.
Dr. Zachary S. Wochok has resigned his position at the University of Alabama and has assumed the position as Tissue Culture Scientist with the Weyerhaeuser Company in Centralia, Washington.
AN ASSISTANT PROFESSORSHIP IN PLANT PHYSIOLOGY AND PLANT BIOCHEMISTRY is open at the University of Virginia. Candidates capable of teaching plant physiology and plant biochemistry and who have demonstrated outstanding research capabilities in some area of higher plant physiology or development are invited to apply. Contact Dr. James Riopel, Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22901.
ROTATING PROGRAM DIRECTORS in ecology, environmental biology, systematics and ecosystems studies will be sought by the Division of Environmental Biology of the National Science Foundation. For further information, contact the Division of Environmental Biology, National Science Foundation, 1800 G St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20550.
A SUPPORT PROGRAM FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS has been announced by the National Science Foundation to support exploratory research, acquisition of instruments, equipment and facilities for expanding re-search training of young scientists. Departments interested in applying for grants should contact Dr. Alfred Borg. RIAS Program, National Science Foundation, 5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20550.
THE PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION ON WHITE HOUSE FELLOWS will select 15 to 20 fellows each year to gain first-hand experience in the governing process of the United States by assigning fellows to White House staff members, members of the Cabinet and other officials in the Federal Government. The fellowship is a one-year sabbatical in public service. Applications are available from the President's Commission on White House Fellows, Washington, D.C. 20415.
FULBRIGHI-HAYES TEACHING AND RE-SEARCH AWARDS should be considered by botanists who wish to work abroad for a period of time. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship as well as educational and professional qualifications appropriate to the appointment. Additional information, application forms and listings of participating countries and fields of interest can he obtained from the Council for International Ex-change of Scholars, 11 DuPont Circle, Suite 300, Washington. D.C. 20036.
FRESHMAN BIOLOGY COORDINATOR responsible for developing and strengthening programs at the freshman level; development and teaching of a non-majors integrated biology course including laboratories; aid in the restructuring of freshman level botany and zoology courses. The position carries the possibility of tenure. Significant experience in college teaching, earned doctorate, and demonstrated leadership and administrative ability required. Salary based on 101 month period; salary negotiable, de-pending on qualifications and experience. Beginning September 1, 1977. Applications containing resume, three letters of recommendation and other supporting documents should be submitted by February 1, 1977 to Dr. Francis L. Rose, Chairperson, Search Committee, Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409.
EXPERIMENTAL SEED PLANT SYSTEMATIST POSITION is available in the Department of Biology. In addition to research, the position involves teaching both undergraduate and graduate students in experimental plant
taxonomy and related areas. Post-doctoral experience is required. Send resume, names of three references, to Plant Systematist Search Committee, Department of Biology, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas 77843.
PLANT PHYSIOLOGIST wanted for a teaching position in plant physiology/general biology opening September 1977. The Ph.D. is required. Preference will be given applicants with full graduate preparation in vascular plant physiology and biochemistry and a background in general biology. Curriculum vitae, a personal statement of unique qualifications, official transcripts and three letters of recommendation should be sent to Dr. Donald J. Drapalik. Faculty Search Chairman, Department of Biology. Georgia Southern College. Statesboro, GA 30458.
Plants in Saline Environments. Edited by A. Poljakoff-Mayber and J. Gale. Ecological Studies. Vol. 15. Springer-Verlag, New York. 1975. 213 pp., illust.
This is a large subject to be reviewed in such a small volume. But this was not intended as a definitive treatise. Rather, it is the expressed hope of the editors to give an overview "of the different problems raised by salinity." In this, they and the eight other contributors have succeeded. The editors have performed a valuable service by reviewing some of the Russian salinity literature. They undoubtedly have a better grasp of it than most scientists outside the USSR.
The ten chapters are grouped into three sections. The first introduces salinity from an ecological point of view and from an agricultural point of view as a cause of crop failure. The second section begins with an excellent brief description of the chemical and physical effects of inorganic ions on soils. Salinity is distinguished from sodicity, an important distinction not always observed, even in other chapters. Chapter 4 discusses methods and units used in measuring salinity and the problems encountered in at-tempts to set water quality standards and concludes with a discussion of human activities that increase salinity problems.
The last five chapters introduce the manifold effects of salinity interacting with other environmental factors on plant structures and processes. The literature cited is a good beginning for the reader desiring more detail. Special attention is given to salt glands and to membrane-ATPases in relation to salt tolerance. The salinity effect of primary concern is the suppression of plant growth. How salinity does that is still moot.
R. H. Nieman
CRAFTS, A. S. Modern Weed Control. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1975. 360 pp., illust.
Modern Weed Control is a slightly updated version of an earlier book entitled Weed Control by Crafts and Rob-ins, the third edition of which was published in 1962. In the new book, Crafts has done a modest amount of re-arranging and some modernizing of the material to include more recently developed herbicides. The early chap-
' During the editorial transition, several book reviews inadvertantly were received without the name of the reviewer. Flora Brasiliensis Volume III, reviewed on pp. 34-35 of the September issue was'reviewed by D. Joseph Arditti,I University of California, Irvine.
ters introduce the concept of weeds, their interaction with human beings throughout history and costs imposed on agriculture and therefore society by weeds. Chapters on weed control, ecology of weeds, and principles of weed control are similar to corresponding chapters in the 1962 book. Chapters on the properties and functions of herbicides are updated only in that newly released herbicides are included. Much of the text, photographs and illustration appeared in Crafts and Robins. Material in Chapters 14 through 19 comes mostly from the 1973 Weed Control Manual and Herbicide Guide published by Farm Technology and Agri-fieldman, Meister Publ. Co., Willoughby, Ohio. It serves the function of a handbook on chemical weed control for specific crops. The chapter on equipment for application of herbicides is substantially the same as the 1962 hook.
As one who has been an admirer of Crafts and who has found exposure to his work equally impressive, it is difficult to say anything bad. Nonetheless the characteristic excellence in the writings and thought of A. S. Crafts that I first encountered as an undergraduate is not evident here. There are volumes of new information, especially on topics such as ecology of weeds, but they are not noted in Modern Weed Control. The revision of the 1962 book is so slight that one wonders why it was published. It simply does not represent the effort and scholarship I always have had reason to expect from a truly great botanist.
Don W. Smith North Texas State University
LOTT, JOHN N. A. A Scanning Electron Microscope Study of Green Plants. C. V. Mosby Co. St. Louis, Mo. 170 pp. 214 illust. 1976.
Although the magnification of the micrographs in this hook is within the effective range of the light microscope, the resolution and depth of field of the scanning electron microscope is such that one enters a whole new world of plant structure. Details of waxy surfaces, the surface of root tips. of cut faces of wood, of hair cells, etc., all be-come immediately comprehensible without the integration required when determining plant structure from successive paraffin sections. The book covers a wide range of plant forms, from algae and lichens, through Bryophytes and up to Angiosperms. Both vegetative and reproductive structures are figured. The text is thorough but advanced, and the book is not intended to stand by itself. The vocabulary and the concepts of plant micro-structure illustrated must be introduced to students via lecture or by readings in more standard texts in plant anatomy and plant diversity. Although the scanning electron microscope cannot replace light- and electron-microscopic views of the plant, the scanning EM will become indispensible in teaching the details of the structure of plants. This book should be included in every laboratory in those courses that survey the plant kingdom.
Beal B. Hyde University of Vermont
WALLS, IAN G. The Complete Book of Greenhouse Gardening. Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co., N.Y., 435 pp. illust., indexed. 1975. $14.95.
There have certainly been many books published on general greenhouse gardening, but this is among the more complete works on the subject, which is especially useful for the beginner.
The first half of the book, entitled "On the Design and Running of Greenhouses," is an excellent reference for
anyone wishing to buy or construct a greenhouse. It takes a critical look at a variety of styles, building materials, construction sites, and various types of greenhouse hard-ware. One comes away with a good idea of what is the most efficient and economical for various purposes. Many useful illustrations are included. Soil sterilization, propagation, composts, lighting, nutrition, heating, and moisture are among other topics covered in this section which gives all necessary information for running a greenhouse.
The second portion of the book, entitled "On the Growing of Plants in Greenhouses," is also well done. It has sections on some of the more common plant groups, such as vegetables, fruits, bulbs, ferns, pot plants, and orchids. A very useful table on bedding plant production and another on pests and disorders of various plants are also included.
On the whole this book is very readable and clear. The author has taken a lot of what could be very confusing information and has distilled it into a coherent whole.
K. J. Espinet University of Vermont
STEVENSON, FORREST F. AND THOMAS R. MERTENS. Plant Anatomy. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., N.Y. 1976. xviii ± 188 p. illus. $4.95.
Plant Anatomy is a self-teaching guide to learning the basic anatomy of flowering plants. The authors clearly state how to use the guide and provide a list of objectives for the student. The guide is entirely self-contained and the student can easily find answers to all the questions it asks. A list of references is included. The guide helps the student learn by review and repetition. However, questions may require reasoning as well as memory. The authors integrate form with function and frequently synthesize previous material to give a better understanding of the plant as a whole.
The guide covers anatomy in seven progressive chapters. They are (1) plant cells and simple plant tissue, (2) complex plant tissue; xylem and phloem, (3) embryos and seedlings, (4) the root, (5) the stem, (6) secondary growth, and (7) leaves, flowers, and fruits. Each chapter is divided into frames which are devoted to a new bit of information. At the end of each chapter a self test is provided to help the student judge his progress.
Plant Anatomy is clearly written and well illustrated. The authors lead the student through lab exercises which are enhanced by both drawings and photographs. The guide deals in generalities, but may serve as a helpful re-view or preparation for a course for a beginning botany student.
Marcia Harrison University of Vermont
GREULACH. VICTOR A. AND J. EDISON ADAMS. Plants: An Introduction to Modern Botany, 3rd ed. Wiley. 1976. 586 pp. $13.95.
This text was written for a one-term course for both botany majors and non-majors. Rather than devote brief but equal attention to all the major disciplines of botany. Greulach and Adams decided to treat in depth subjects they consider most important while essentially omitting other areas. Plant physiology, ecology, and genetics comprise over 80% of the text, the remainder being devoted to plants and man, the plant kingdom, and paleobotany. The treatments of water relations and mineral nutrition are outstanding and the section on plant genetics is unusually well developed (though some important achievements are omitted, e.g., Triticale), but procaryotic cells receive only a few paragraphs. One chapter and an appendix are devoted solely to chemistry from atomic structure to DNA. One might question their inclusion at the expense of more basic botany. This uneven emphasis de-creases the flexibility of the text. Nevertheless, the text is tailor-made for a large number of introductory courses across the country.
An unconventional organization breaks up traditional patterns of presentation, placing subjects of similar theme into the sane chapter or section. No longer are life cycles incorporated into the discussion of the plant kingdom. Instead, they form a separate chapter titled "Sexual Re-production" in the section with genetics and evolution. This would he unnecessarily confusing if one were trying to learn the fundamental characteristics of the major plant groups. However, since the emphasis in the text is on methods of reproduction rather than the plant kingdom, the organization is consistent with the aim of the book.
The numerous illustrations, photographs, and micro-graphs are worthy of special note. These say more than a page of text. Students will also find the short bibliographies at the end of each chapter a valuable guide to the literature at the level of Scientific American.
This text will continue to serve the needs of one-term courses emphasizing physiology, ecology, and genetics. The text is not adequate, however, for courses of broader scope.
Steven P. Briggs University of Vermont
MARTIN, JAMES H., WARREN H. LEONARD, AND DAVID L. STAMP. Principles of Field Crop Production, Third Edition. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York. 1976. 1118 p. illus. $16.95.
The newest edition of this widely used and respected field crops text brings together information concerning the many advances in crop science and the newest cropping practices which are used in today's agriculture. More space is devoted to a discussion of the scientific principles and the impact of various cropping practices on the environment than in previous editions. Since crop hybrids, cultivars, fertilizers, and pesticides used in modern farming are so numerous, so frequently changed, or are of local interest only, they have generally been omitted from this edition. In keeping with the policies adopted by most scientific societies, much of the numerical data is expressed in metric units as well as U.S. equivalents.
Many books and symposium monographs which relate to specific crops and cropping practices have been published. They are referred to in literature citations following each chapter. Excellent use is made of tables, illustrations, and photographs to illustrate various principles and practices.
The authors are to be commended for bringing together into a single readable text important information concerning the major field, forage, and industrial crops grown throughout the world.
Samuel C. Wiggans University of Vermont
SATTLER, R. Organogenesis of Flowers—A Photographic Text-atlas. University of Toronto Press, Toronto. 1973. xxvi + 207 pp. illus. $27.50.
Sattler's comprehensive atlas of floral development is intended to be the modern counterpart of Jean-Baptiste
Payer's classic 7'raite d'Organogenie coinparee de la fleur, published in 1857, but unavailable except in a reprinted version produced by Cramer in 1966. While Payer's treatise surveyed more species (approx. 335 spp. as compared with 50 in Sattler's), Sattler's book will have a greater impact on modern biologists because of the clarity of its photographic documentation and the meticulous de-tail of its descriptions of floral development. Anyone who has attempted dissections of early floral developmental stages knows that it is more difficult to prepare photogenic specimens than those illustrated by line drawings.
Sattler emphasizes that his atlas is a descriptive work, free of interpretive connotations that have encumbered previous floral morphological studies. To this end he has attempted to use more neutral terms and has invented descriptive phrases which he believes are devoid of the usual interpretive biases. While attempts at objectivity are laudable, some of his new terminology produces cumber-some descriptions and vagueness of reference that can be as problematical as the interpretive pitfalls they are meant to avoid. Had conventional terminology been viewed in a slightly more flexible perspective, some of the more complex circumlocutions would not have been necessary.
Some problems of reader orientation result from the strictly developmental sequence that dominates each species presentation. Instead of first providing the necessary introduction to the morphology of the mature flower—except for an unexplained floral diagram at the beginning—the author plunges directly into the account of floral ontogeny, beginning with the recently initiated floral meristem. He leaves the description of mature floral structure until the end of each section. The reader is forced to follow the complex morphogenetic contortions without a well-defined structural goal. Furthermore, to give an unbiased developmental narrative for each species without a prerequisite description of the mature flower, little to no discrimination is made between significant and trivial morphogenetic features. Consequently the reader's attention can become sidetracked from the major developmental events by detailed accounts of the angularity of the apex, etc. which may be transitory and a result of mutual compressions in the floral bud. If an overview of inflorescence structure and mature floral morphology had first been provided, the reader would be able to evaluate more judiciously the significance of developmental descriptions.
I also regret the lack of any summing up or real generalization on the diversity of floral developmental pat-terns as seen in Payer's treatise. Obviously such an avoidance of synthesis is in keeping with Sattler's stated intention to have his work remain purely descriptive. But in view of the broad taxonomic representation offered, there undoubtedly are some purely developmental, mechanistic generalizations on floral morphogenesis that can be made which do not rely on traditional morphological argumentations. To be sure, there are brief discussions of the literature, but these accounts are taxonomically restricted and limited to minor discrepancies in observational detail that are of little general significance.
Despite these synthetic and interpretive restrictions, Sattler's atlas will, through the example of its carefully documented, detailed observations, elicit a great deal of interest in floral developmental studies. By virtue of its exceptionally well-illustrated examples, it will acquaint otherwise uninitiated biologists with the beauty and complexity of floral morphogenetic processes in a more dramatic way than would ever occur with Payer's more cramped, stylized drawings. Biologists of a more reductionist persuasion may become aware of the need to view their detailed molecular mechanisms in a more holistic context and may even be inspired to try and close the enormous gap between these two levels of plant organization.
Donald R. Kaplan University of California,
Berkeley and Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami
WILLIAMS, R. F. The Shoot Apex and Leaf Growth. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge 1975. vii + 256 pp. illus. $18.95.
Williams' book is a unique contribution to the study of whole plant morphogenesis. It should be read by all workers concerned with problems of the determination of higher plant form. In this compact, well-written, superbly illustrated work, developmental morphology and physiology are welded together into a unique and significant synthesis through the author's meticulous and detailed analyses of growth rates in a variety of angiosperms. Although all thirteen of the species analyzed are of either agricultural or horticultural significance, there are a sufficient number of structural variants to make this a work of general morphological significance.
Williams' central theme is that physical constraints play a significant role in molding the form that various shoot components exhibit in phases of development from germination to reproductive maturity. By painstakingly careful quantitative analyses of changes in shoot morphology and relative growth rates, he provides a compelling demonstration of the role of physical forces in shoot morphogenesis. And while the analysis of shoot development forms the heart of the work, individual species descriptions are appropriately preceded by introductory chapters on the quantitative study of plant growth and phyllotaxis, analyses which form the basis for his specific studies. The book ends with a summary of the analytical procedures used which will aid those wishing to carry out similar studies on other plants.
For me, Williams' book represents an important and uniquely holistic study of plant shoot growth correlations that provides greater insight into the plant growth process than the more limited cell biological approaches. Williams' kind of analysis offers the promise of new ideas as to how physiological factors are controlling form. Applications of his approach to broad problems of comparative morphology can enrich our views of the evolutionary develop-mental mechanisms that are responsible for the tremendous morphological variety that exists in the flowering plants as a whole. It is a book I wholeheartedly recommend to any-one with an insatiable curiosity about the genesis of plant form.
Donald R. Kaplan University of California, Berkeley and Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami
THORNLEY, J. H. M. Mathematical Models in Plant Physiology. Academic Press, London. 1976. xiii + 318 pp. $24.25.
This unique book presents a quantitative approach to plant growth and development based on mathematical equations (models). The steps involved from model construction to the use of computers in their solution are traced for a series of time-dependent,deterministic models. The author does not try to cover all fields (e.g., water relations are neglected), but rather presents a strong case for
a quantitative approach to problems in plant and crop physiology.
The requisite mathematical principles are introduced by considering Michaelis-Menton processes, sigmoidal response curves, carbohydrate translocation, and transport across membranes. The complex formulation for describing light variability in the plant canopy precedes a semi-empirical presentation of photosynthesis, including the effect of fluctuating light level. Equations quantifying growth (dry weight changes) encompass source-sink partitioning of carbon between leaf, stem, and root compartments. The model is then expanded to include nitrogen partitioning, and whole plant behavior is compared to growth data on tomato. Development and senescence is modeled using the cell as the basic unit, and a new plant growth equation is developed. A mathematical analysis of switching, as would be appropriate for flower initiation, is presented. Finally, phyllotaxis and external plant form are interpreted from the provocative vantage point of the mathematically-inclined modeler.
Although the reader may he perplexed by some unorthodox definitions, simplifying assumptions, and the rather mathematical presentation, the material is clearly and logically organized. The text relies rather heavily on the author's own research contributions, but a non-dogmatic cautious attitude nevertheless prevails. The book succeeds in presenting a valuable perspective on modeling in general and the insights obtainable for plant models in particular.
Park S. Nobel University of California, Los Angeles
HEISER, CHARLES B., JR. The Sunflower. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 1976. xxvi .I- 198 pp. illus. $10.95.
This book is not intended to be a complete account of the sunflower, but it does contain an interesting and useful amount of scientific and cultural information about sun-flowers. It is profusely illustrated with drawings and many black and white and color photographs.
This brief book has a wide ranging account of the basic botany and of the economic, cultural and social history of sunflowers. It is well written, with interesting anecdotes, and it makes for easy and enjoyable reading. The book contains a good concise treatment of the origin, evolution, genetics, plant breeding, taxonomy, ornamentals, cultivation, and other aspects of sunflowers. It presupposes little or no previous technical knowledge, and since it clearly explains the basic biological principles in the areas discussed, it can he read profitably by the genera! reader as well as by students of botany and horticulture.
Sydney S. Greenfield Rutgers University
KRISHNAMOORTHY, H. N. Gibberellins and Plant Growth. Halsted Press, John Wiley and Sons, N.Y. 1975. xv + 356 pp.
The book will provide graduate students and professionals with an up-to-date account of the chemistry and physiological action of gibberellins. It is unique since it is the first book written in English comprehensively to review gibberellin research.
Chapter 1 is concerned with extraction, purification, and chemistry of gibberellins, while Chapter 2 is devoted to bioassay. Biosynthesis, metabolism, and transport are discussed in Chapter 3. Chapters 4-8 describe gibberellin effects on dormancy, germination, vegetative growth, flowering, fruit and seed development, abscission, and senescence. Anatomical and cytological effects of gibberellins are presented in Chapter 9. Chapters 10-11 describe the relationships between gibberellins and metabolism, and the mechanism(s) of gihberellin action. The last chapter is concerned with gibberellin antagonists and antigibberellins. The most noticeable omission is a discussion of the relationship of gibberellins to other growth regulators. Brief discussions of this topic are scattered in the text, but would he more effective if consolidated and expanded.
Each chapter of the book was written by a specialist. Evaluation of the experimental evidence is facilitated by graphs and tables from original papers. Undoubtedly, the hook's greatest resource are the hundreds of literature references listed at the end of each section. Whenever possible, the text has been updated by inserting notes on recent advances.
Philip Petty University of Vermont
GRUN, PAUL. Cytoplasmic Genetics and Evolution. Columbia University Press, New York. 1976. xi + 435
Evolutionary geneticists usually pay little attention to hereditary factors transmitted through the cytoplasm. That this is a mistake is shown by Paul Grun's detailed, precise, and thorough analysis of the literature in this field. He devotes half of the 22 chapters of his book to the most important carriers of cytoplasmic heredity, the mitochondria and the plastids. The cooperation between nuclear and mitochondrial or plastid genes in the synthesis of these organelles is amply documented by a wealth of experimental evidence, which Dr. Grun has reviewed critically and impartially. Most botanists will be particularly interested in his chapter on genetic changes of chloroplasts during evolution, in which he reviews the earlier and more recent work of German and other European geneticists, such as Renner, Noack. W. Stubbe and Michaelis. and evaluates hypotheses to elucidate the role of cytoplasmic evolution in the origin of species. Of equal interest are the last chapters, dealing with the significant concepts of cytoplasmic inheritance, interactions between plasmons and plasmon-sensitive genes, cytoplasmic factors that are in-dependent of chromosomal genes, natural selection that results from interaction between cytoplasmic and nuclear factors, and the evolution of coadapted nuclear and cytoplasmic systems of heredity. Dr. Grun has clearly and elegantly documented the proposition that evolutionary change is a property of the organism as a whole, including both nucleus and cytoplasm.
In spite of his clear style of writing, the book is not easy reading. To a botanist unfamiliar with this field, facts, experiments, and the alternative hypotheses to explain them appear with frightening speed, requiring the reader's full attention every moment. All botanists interested in evolution will need to have this book on their shelves. It should be read slowly and carefully, and consulted whenever a problem arises in which the influence of the cytoplasm on heredity or evolution may be an important factor in its solution. Dr. Grun is to be congratulated on a pioneer work of fundamental significance.
G. Ledyard Stebbins University of California, Davis
ETHERINGTON. J. R. Environment and Plant Ecology. John Wiley & Sons, N.Y. 1975. xii -}- 347 pp. $9.95 in paper.
As students progress through an undergraduate curriculum in Botany, they take courses in biological and physical sciences, hopefully some courses in the arts and humanities, math and the ubiquitous physical education. Each of these courses is freestanding, hearing little relation to the others; it is as if each instructor and class are sealed inside a bottle uncontaminated by other courses and other instructors. We can tell our advisees that the integration of subjects and fields will come with time, a statement comparable to telling someone in the throes of a messy divorce that things will eventually get better. Our attempts to develop integrated courses in which morphology and development or ecology and physiology are presented together have, at the undergraduate level, usually come to nought because students don't really have the background necessary to make the correlations. This hook is an at-tempt to bridge the gap between ecology and plant physiology.
Within the limits of a single volume, the attempt is generally successful. Energy transfer, soils, water in excess or in short supply, mineral nutrition and mineral cycling are discussed intelligently and adequately. Competition is reviewed in terms of edaphic factors, allopathy, and other interactions to tie together the topics handled separately. One could wish for more discussion on some topics, less on others and the introduction of still others depending on one's biases. This does not change the favor-able impression one gets even by thumbing through the book, an impression that is fortified by reading it. I would make Environment and Plant Ecology required for advanced courses in either ecology or plant physiology. Inclusion of some techniques increases its value as does the extensive literature cited.
Richard M. Klein University of Vermont
KAUFMAN, PETER B., JOHN LABAVITCH, ANNE ANDERSON-PROUTY, AND NAJATI S. GOSHEH. Laboratory Experiences in Plant Physiology. Macmillan, New York. 1975. 262 pp. $7.95.
There will always he a need for an undergraduate and graduate lab manual which provides a realistic glimpse of the expanding frontiers of plant physiology and shows how these frontiers are being explored. This compendium of plant research methodology in the form of 41 original, modern experiments is an exciting response to today's needs. Arranged into 9 chapters which parallel those of V. A. Greulach's and R. G. S. Bidwell's respective texts, each experiment is placed into context with a brief introduction (as is each chapter) and is supplemented with penetrating questions for discussion, selected references to journal publications and, often, an appendix containing anything from helpful scheduling hints to medium formulae and culturing techniques. The abundant micrographs, figures, tables (including a key to nutrient-deficiency symptoms) and glossary enhance a lucid text, resulting in procedures which are easy to follow and execute.
Though many of the procedures are standard biochemistry (cell fractionation, isolation and assay of various organelles and enzymes, tracer studies, etc.) most are unique to plant physiology (protoplast preparation, the hormone bioassays, and measurement of transpiration rates). Descriptions are given of scanning and transmission electron microscopy and the Electron Microprobe Analyzer, but there is no mention of freeze-etching nor is there an experiment employing electrophoresis.
In addition to discussing and utilizing a wide range of lab procedures and apparatus, most of the experiments probe into the heart of current problems in plant physiology (e.g., nitrogen fixation. allelopathy, ion uptake, hormonal interactions and photomorphogenesis). Thus, they are far more interesting than experiments which simply introduce a procedure for its own sake rather than as an investigative tool (e.g., an enzyme assay) or which present fascinating problems (e.g., phototropism) without providing any means for their investigation. The authors have combined the hest of both, procedure and problem, and this will surely he reflected in the interest and performance of the students.
Unfortunately, this first edition does not have an index. Consequently, a rapid survey of the information about a particular technique or procedure is impossible. Since this is the only serious flaw in an otherwise excellent hook. I highly recommend it to teachers and students alike.
Steven P. Briggs University of Vermont
LEDOUX. LUCIEN (ed.). Genetic Manipulations with Plant Material. NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series, Series A: Life Sciences, Volume 3. Plenum Press, New York. 601 pp. $48.00.
This volume appears when the world is hopeful that plant genetics will again provide sustenance through the development and application of new techniques in plant breeding. The hook is a compilation of 32 invited papers and several research communications presented at the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Genetic Manipulations with Plant Material, Liege, 1974. The intent was to stimulate thought and discussion and assemble technology and expertise from a diversity of experimental systems (prokaryotic and eukaryotic, microbe, lower and higher plant). As such, the forum format of the meetings themselves al-ways offers greater possibilities for the attainment of the goal than does the more restrictive nature of the publication. Nevertheless, the written account of papers presented covers a diversity of techniques and fields ripe for plant genetics or thought by plant geneticists: cell culture techniques, techniques and mechanisms for the transfer of hereditary material, "genetic engineering", gene regulation, nitrogen-fixation. crown gall studies of differentiation.
The book has a neat, clean, non-distractive format that is appreciated by the reader. Figures are distinctively clear, and pictures and micrographs are, for the most part, well done. The price, however, clearly limits the utility of the book: this is especially so when one considers that much of the information discussed in the invited papers is in print elsewhere. The volume will become the possession of a selected few libraries, and certainly not that of many individuals.
Robert C. Ullrich University of Vermont
BOWLING, D. J. F. Uptake of Ions by Plant Roots. Chapman and Hall, London. Halsted Press (John Wiley and Sons, Inc.), New York. 1976. 212 pp. $20.00.
This recent addition to the literature on ion transport in plants confines itself, as the title states, to roots. Hence it avoids the all-too-common heavy reliance on information obtained from algae, which is by no means reliably
applicable to tissues of higher plants. The organization of he book is logical, proceeding from morphology and anatomy of the root to a consideration of the soil-root interface, then to the process of absorption of ions (four chapters), to transport across the root, and finally, to long-distance transport toward the shoot. A short (9-page) chapter, "Some conclusions and a look into the future," ends the hook. There is a list of references (but no author index) and a subject index. The book is clearly written, although passages of it bear an uncomfortable resemblance in their style to some chapters in annual reviews and other such surveys. The illustrations are mostly graphs and line drawings: they are clear and uncluttered. There are four pages of excellently reproduced photographs and micro-graphs.
The author does not indicate in his preface the audience for whom the book is intended. The jacket states that it "should he particularly useful to the postgraduate re-searcher in the fields of plant nutrition, agronomy and soil science. . .," and also suited for "senior undergraduates specializing in experimental botany and soil science." It is not, however, easy to suggest a suitable audience for this hook. Undergraduates are given no inkling that the root is a major evolutionary adaptation, the adaptation that made possible the exploitation of the land. They are not shown the significance of the uptake of ions by plant roots in the mineral economy of life on Earth. Agricultural and ecological implications of ion uptake are ignored. The subject is treated as a narrow plant physiological specialty with emphasis on electrophvsiology, but surely under-graduates ought to be made aware of the grand role of ion uptake in the world of life.
Advanced students and researchers, on the other hand. are not well served by a hook of 182 pages—too little for a comprehensive and incisive monographic treatment of the subject. And they. as well as less advanced readers, may be misled by loose or downright erroneous statements which are no rarities in the hook. The ionic composition of the soil solution of "John Innes no. 2 potting compost" given in a table (p. 11) is either very incomplete or very faulty, because the cations add up to 19.85 mep./ 1 and the anions to 34.00. And why is this highly atypical soil solution singled out as the only example? The influence of microorganisms on the uptake of ions other than phosphate is said not to have been studied (p. 51). although later (p. 82) reference is made to such experiments on absorption of rubidium. This list of dubious statements could easily be enlarged.
The advanced student will he surprised by omissions as well as errors. In particular, the final "look into the future" omits cell culture and use of protoplasts among the exciting possibilities now wide open for use in the study of ion transport. It makes no mention of the use of cells or tissues of different but related genotypes, especially mutants—an approach sure to make its mark in the years ahead. Electron probe analysis, laser probe analysis, ion probe mass analysis, and high resolution autoradiography are not in the author's `"look into the future," nor are the development of automated, low-concentration solution culture systems and other modern methodologies including computer modeling of ion fluxes. This book fills the needs of neither beginning nor advanced students.
Emanuel Epstein University of California, Davis
THOMAS, E. AND M. R. DAVEY. From Single Cells to Plants. Wykeham Publications (London) Ltd. 1975.
"From Single Cells to Plants" is a small jewel of a book. not only for its vigorous analysis of the science and practice of plant tissue culture, but also for its beautiful use of the English language. The book is by no means a substitute for reading individual papers on specialized cultures of different plant species (and the authors recognize this in their preface), but it allows for better understanding of the difficulties involved in translating the complexities of the "in vivo" tissues into "in vitro" systems.
Thomas and Davey give a brief account of the history and development of plant tissue culture up to plant hybridization by protoplasts, and describe basic materials and methods widely used in plant cell, tissue and organ culture. 1-lach chapter pertaining to a different system of plant culture begins with a brief discussion on the theoretical implications of each of the systems described. The systems discussed in the book are: cultures of plant organs. including mixed cultures of excised roots and nitrogen-fixing Rhizobia; cultures of plant cells, massive (callus) and in suspension: cultures of protoplasts, their behavior. and induced fusion. The morphology of cells in suspension, the ultrastructure of both callus and suspension cells, the habituated callus cultures, the effect of cell density on culture growth are briefly discussed. In the chapter on morphogcnesis in cell cultures, the authors engage in a lively discussion on differentiation. de-differentiation and totipotencv. acknowledging various hypotheses. although without mentioning the researchers involved. The methodology of culturing haploid reproductive cells is described and discussed for the genetic control of plant growth and metabolism and for plant breeding. Finally, Thomas and Dewey emphasize the need to develop new ideas and new methods to overcome the problems associated with handling complex living systems.
This excellent compact review of plant tissue culture, which includes also in the Appendix a very useful taxonomic index of cultured plant species, misses only one target: a good bibliography.
Maria franca Morselli University of Vermont
PLANT SCIENCE BULLETIN DEPARTMENT OF BOTANY UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT BURLINGTON, VERMONT 05401