PNL Volume 19 19 87
Our cover depicts Erich von Tschermak-Seysenegg (1871-1962),
a man , long cited as one of the three rediscoverers of Mendel's
work. Recently, however, his claim to a share of the honors along
with Correns and De Vries has been challenged (see, for example,
Monaghan and Corcos, J. Hered. 77:468-469. 1986.). Nevertheless,
Tschermak is amply distinguished on other grounds to warrant a
place on our cover. The rendering, by Ms. Elaine Gotham of our
Publications staff, is from a photograph which appeared in Gene-
tics, Vol. 37 (January 1952). The photograph was taken at a late
stage in Professor Tschermak's life. Accompanying the photograph
in Genetics is an account of Tschermak's life and works written by
the late George H. Shull, himself a famous geneticist/breeder.
Born in Vienna in 1871, Erich von Tschermak was a member of
an intellectually distinguished family. He was the grandson of
Eduard Fenzl, a professor of botany under whom Gregor Mendel
studied. Tschermak gained considerable experience in practical
plant breeding both before and after receiving his Ph.D. at Halle
in 1896. In Ghent, in the spring of 1898, he began his studies
with the hybridization of garden peas. He continued this work
upon returning the next year to Esslingen, near Vienna. A paper
summarizing his results was read in January 1900.
Dr. Tschermak experimented with many major crop plants during
his professional career, making numerous valuable contributions to
breeding and genetics and earning a host of honors and awards.
During this time he published important papers relating to the
genetics of Pisum (1901, 1902, 1904, 1910, 1912, 1916) including
the discovery of several genes.