Fifty years ago a communication dated October 5, 1932, signed by "M. M. Rhoades, Sec'y," transmitted his "Report of a meeting held during the Genetics Congress on August 26th by those interested in corn genetics." The meeting was attended by 45 persons, and a committee was formed (Brink, Jones, Mangelsdorf, Stadler, and Emerson, chairman) to establish a "central seed repository." Rhoades was designated custodian of the stocks, which were to be maintained by 10 cooperators (Emerson, Beadle, Brink, Jones, Burnham, Stadler, Jenkins, Sprague, Eyster, Lindstrom), who would grow the stocks and supply fresh seeds for the repository. Of course this was the formalization of an already enthusiastic cooperation among scientists in maize genetics that is still intact today. It established the base for a stock center and the impetus for the News Letter, but it was the openness, mutual respect and cordiality that made progress so rapid (one wag has called it a husky, eerie zeal).
How can we honor that spirit and further the exploration of the genetic systems of Zea and our ability to manipulate them? In addition to continuing to openly exchange and share information and materials, we can take account of the research of our colleagues in publications and cite their pertinent work; we can acknowledge seed stocks and information supplied by others or by the Stock Center; we can tell other scientists of our colleagues' findings; we can carry out the linkage experiments, the allelism tests and the tests of alternative hypotheses that are essential to further progress. In short, we can continue with the same enthusiasm.
Is this News Letter a Primary Reference? It seems at times to be misunderstood as such. Citations from the News Letter in publications of course should only be by permission of the writer of the item, but it might also be a good idea to cite the information as a "personal communication" (along with the issue and pages). Misunderstanding of the function of the News Letter is also indicated, according to experiences of some authors, by comments of referees to the effect that the paper under review belongs in the News Letter. In refereed publications, primary publication of new genetic variations and techniques and theories is regular for most species, and maize ought not to be different.
We note with enthusiasm the birth of related newsletters. The Plant Molecular Biology Newsletter is entering its third year, with a burst of maize enthusiasm (see information near the back of this issue). The Plant Genetics Newsletter, issuing from the new Genetics Section of the Botanical Society of America will contain meeting notes, book reviews, topical articles, employment news, etc. (Dr. Dennis M. Travis, University of Maine, Presque Isle, Maine 04769, is the editor). A corn breeding newsletter has been proposed and is under consideration.
Some new publications of interest:
Hallauer, A., and J. B. Miranda, 1981. Quantitative Genetics in Maize Breeding. Iowa State Univ. Press, Ames. 468 pp.
Hafliger, E., editor, 1979. Maize. CIBA-GEIGY Monograph, Basle, Switzerland.
Micu, V. E., 1981. Genetical Studies of Maize. Shtiintsa, Kishinev, Mold. S.S.R. 231 pp. (in Russian).
If you teach a laboratory, a number of interesting genetics laboratory experiments with corn, soybeans and peas (including exercises with the anthocyanin system of corn) are given in the catalog and manual of Williams Laboratories (P.O. Box 43, Williams, Indiana 47470).
About 900 copies of this issue will be sent to research workers, laboratories and libraries around the world. The costs of preparation, reproduction and mailing as well as office support are borne by the U. S. Department of Agriculture in facilities provided by the University of Missouri. We are all grateful for this indispensable support and encouragement.
A few copies are still available of the wall-size reproduction of the linkage map, with locus names, made available through the efforts and generosity of William F. Sheridan. Copies will be sent on request to Coe at the University of Missouri.
Back issues of News Letter No. 30 (1956) to date will be sent upon request; a microfilm of volumes 1-29 and 33 is available for $9.50 U.S.; orders should be sent to Coe at the University of Missouri and checks should be made out to Maize Genetics.
Airmail service to addresses outside the U.S. will be provided for $3.00 if received by January 1st.
The deadline for the next issue (number 57, 1983) is January 1, 1983. Reports submitted normally should consist of information bearing on genetic understanding or genetic manipulation of maize. Brief items containing specific data, specific observations, and specific methods are of most value. Communications are received and assembled with minimum editing.
Because the text will be retyped, it is more important that it be double-spaced and follow the simple format (to shorten preparation and typing time), and that it be accurate, than that it be spotless copy.
Because tables and figures are usually reproduced "as is," it is most important that they be compact and single spaced, accurate and ready for the camera.
References should be used sparingly; when needed, they should be identified in abbreviated form within the text, including authors' initials to facilitate indexing.
The encouragement and support of my colleagues in planning and preparing this News Letter is most appreciated. Ming-Tang Chang, Christine Curtis, Rodney Higgins, David Hoisington, Bryan Kindiger, Stephen Modena, and Scott Poethig helped with proofing and editing of parts; Kathryn Kind and Christopher Browne with mockup and various other tasks. Shirley Kowalewski has again contributed to the year-round office load and the compilation of the publications list. Mary Nelson again has composed, guarded accuracy and clarity, and has produced final copy with earnestness and spirit.
E. H. Coe, Geneticist, USDA-ARS; Professor of Agronomy
Curtis Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211
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