Special Seminars, Endowed Lectures
The department hosts several seminars and endowed lectures throughout the academic year. Endowed lectures are paid for with private funds invested and held by the Regents of the University. The Daniel I. Arnon Lecture was established with resources from the Charles F. Kettering Foundation. The endowment also supports graduate students who are designated Arnon Fellows. The Bob B. Buchanan and Harry Tsujimoto Lectures were established with a generous gift from the K/T Foundation of San Francisco.
Our newest endowed lecture debuted in Fall, 2013. It was planned when Dr. White was the Regents’ Lecturer for the Berkeley Campus, Fall Semester 2012 - Spring Semester 2013. It commemorates a scientific collaboration spanning three decades.
Thomas J. White and John W. Taylor began their collaboration on fungal molecular evolution in 1982 when Taylor invited White to an informal seminar in the Botany Department on the Berkeley campus to present his Cetus Corporation research on fungal enzymes that convert plant cell walls to sugar. Following that meeting, they used a cloned fungal ribosomal DNA to show that fungi were not close relatives of red algae (Kwok et al. 1986); a modest accomplishment, but one of the first efforts to apply molecular evolution to fungi.
In 1988, White took a sabbatical from Cetus to work in Taylor’s lab, where he introduced Berkeley mycologists to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technique that was just becoming practical due to the availability of thermocyclers and a recombinant form of thermostable Taq polymerase. Working with postdoc Tom Bruns and graduate student Steve Lee, they developed an approach to rapidly PCR amplify and sequence fungal rDNA for evolutionary comparisons (White et al. 1990), which has been cited more than once a day since then. The application of PCR to questions in fungal evolution led to the first publication on the topic (Bruns et al. 1989), and an influential review on fungal molecular evolution (Bruns et al. 1991).
The Arnon Lecture honors the late Professor Daniel I. Arnon (1910-1994). Arnon spent his career at Berkeley, obtaining his Ph.D. in plant nutrition with Dennis R. Hoagland and later joining the faculty. He is best known for his pioneering research in the fields of photosynthesis and plant nutrition. His career is recounted in a memoir written for the National Academy of Sciences. The lecture is held annually in early March. Speakers have made distinguished contributions to photosynthesis or a related field and are selected by the Arnon Lecture Committee.
|2000||Paul D. Boyer||2001||George H. Lorimer|
|2002||Bob B. Buchanan||2003||Jan M. Anderson|
|2004*||Jean-David Rochaix||2004*||F.R. Whatley|
|2005||Joanne Chory||2006||William A. Cramer|
|2007||Achim Trebst||2008||James Barber|
|2009||Elisabeth Gantt||2010||Arnon Centennial Symposium at Asilomar**|
|2011||Jürgen Soll||2012||Don Bryant|
|2013||Mark Stitt||2014||Robert Blankenship|
The Bob. B. Buchanan Lecture honors Professor Bob B. Buchanan, a longtime faculty member in the department. Professor Buchanan did undergraduate work at Emory and Henry College and obtained a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Duke University. After completing postdoctoral research with the late Professor Jesse C. Rabinowitz in the Department of Biochemistry, Buchanan joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1963. He is known for his contributions to microbiology, photosynthesis and plant biochemistry.
Speakers are typically young investigators on the way to achieving prominence in plant biology. They are selected by postdoctoral scholars in the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology.
|2001||Peter Schrümann||2001||Kenneth Cline|
|2002||Henry Daniell||2003||Julian Schroeder|
|2005||Jim Carrington||2005||Steve Kay|
|2007||Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar||2008||Jen Sheen|
|2009||Steve Jacobsen||2010||Dominique Bergmann|
|2011||Xuemei Chen||2012||Cyril Zipfel|
|2013||Thomas Lahaye||2014||Kelly Craven|
The Tsujimoto Lecture honors Harry Y. Tsujimoto, an accomplished former Berkeley staff member. He did undergraduate work at Cornell University and obtained an M.S. in plant nutrition from UC Berkeley. Daniel Arnon was his thesis advisor. Tsujimoto spent 25 years as a member of the Arnon research group where he participated in major discoveries on photophosphorylation and ferredoxin. Graduate students select the speaker, a recognized individual in plant biology or microbial biology.