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 Luther Burbank

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MessaggioOggetto: Luther Burbank   Ven 19 Nov 2010 - 7:50

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Burbank


Luther Burbank (Lancaster, 7 marzo 1849 – Santa Rosa, 11 aprile 1926) è stato un botanico e orticultore statunitense.Nel corso della sua lunga carriera creò oltre 800 forme e varietà di piante,tra cui la patata Burbank, la morabianca[1]e il cactus senza spine[2].Burbank ricevette critiche da parte del mondo scientifico della sua epocaper la scarsa documentazione dei suoi esperimenti, essendo più interessato alrisultato finale che alla ricerca pura, ma i suoi contributi portarono allapromulgazione, nel 1930,della legge federale statunitense nota come Plant Patents Act, checonsente il rilascio di brevetti su nuove varietà di piante.Dal 1976 èentrato a fare parte della Hall of Fame for Great Americans.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Burbank
Luther Burbank (7 March 1849 – 11 April 1926) [1] was an American botanist, horticulturist and a pioneer in agriculturalscience.He developed more than 800 strains and varieties of plants over his 55-year career. Burbank's variedcreations included fruits, flowers, grains, grasses, and vegetables. He developed a spineless cactus (useful for cattle-feed) and the plumcot.Burbank's most successfulstrains and varieties include the Shasta daisy, the Fire poppy, the July Elberta peach, the Santa Rosa plum, the Flaming Gold nectarine, the Wickson plum,the Freestonepeach, and the white blackberry. A natural genetic variant of the Burbank potato with russet-colored skin later became known as the RussetBurbank potato.This large, brown-skinned, white-fleshed potato has become the world'spredominant potato in food processing.Life and work

Born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, Burbank grew up on a farm and received only an elementary schooleducation. The thirteenth of fifteen children, he enjoyed the plants in hismother's large garden. His father died when he was 21 years old, and Burbankused his inheritance to buy a 17-acre (69,000 m²) plot of land near Lunenburg.There, he developed the Burbank potato. Burbank sold the rights to the Burbankpotato for $150 and used the money to travel to SantaRosa, California,in 1875. Later, a natural sport of Burbank potato with russetted skin wasselected and named RussetBurbank potato.Today, the Russet Burbank potato is the most widely cultivated potato in theUnited States. A large percentage of McDonald's french fries are made from this cultivar.In Santa Rosa, Burbankpurchased a 4-acre (16,000 m2) plot of land, and established a greenhouse, nursery, and experimental fields that heused to conduct crossbreeding experiments on plants, inspired by Charles Darwin's The Variation of Animals and Plantsunder Domestication. (This site is now open to the public as a city park, Luther Burbank Home and Gardens.) Later he purchased an 18-acre (7.3 ha) plotof land in the nearby town of Sebastopol called Gold Ridge Farm.[2]From 1904 through 1909Burbank received several grants from the Carnegie Institution to support hisongoing research on hybridization. He was supported by the practical-mindedAndrew Carnegie himself, over those of his advisers who objected that Burbankwas not "scientific" in his methods.[3]Burbank became known throughhis plant catalogs, the most famous being 1893's "New Creations in Fruitsand Flowers," and through the word of mouth of satisfied customers, aswell as press reports that kept him in the news throughout the first decade ofthe century.

Burbank creations


Burbank created hundreds ofnew varieties of fruits (plum, pear, prune, peach, blackberry, raspberry);potato, tomato; ornamental flowers and other plants.[4]
Fruits

  • 113 plums and prunes
  • 35 fruiting cacti
  • 16 blackberries
  • 13 raspberries
  • 11 quinces
  • 11 plumcots
  • Ten cherries
  • Ten strawberries
  • Ten apples
  • Eight peaches
  • Six chestnuts
  • Five nectarines
  • Four grapes
  • Four pears
  • Three walnut
  • Two figs
  • One almond

Grains,grasses, forage

  • Nine types

Vegetables

  • 26 types[citation needed]

Ornamentals

  • 91 types[citation needed]

Burbank was criticized byscientists of his day because he did not keep the kind of careful records thatare the norm in scientific research and because he was mainly interested ingetting results rather than in basic research. Jules Janick,Ph.D., Professor of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University, writing in the WorldBook Encyclopedia,2004 edition, says: "Burbank cannot be considered a scientist in theacademic sense."In 1893, Burbank publisheda descriptive catalog of some of his best varieties, entitled New Creationsin Fruits and Flowers.In 1907, Burbank publishedan “essay on childrearing,” called The Training of the Human Plant. In it, he advocated improvedtreatment of children and eugenic practices such as keeping the unfitand first cousins from marrying.During his career, Burbankwrote, or co-wrote, several books on his methods and results, including hiseight-volume How Plants Are Trained to Work for Man (1921), Harvestof the Years (with WilburHall, 1927), Partnerof Nature (1939), and the 12-volume Luther Burbank: His Methods andDiscoveries and Their Practical Application.

Methodology

Burbank experimenting witha variety of techniques such as grafting, hybridization, and cross-breeding.[edit] Intraspecific breeding

Intraspecific hybridization within a plant species wasdemonstrated by CharlesDarwin and Gregor Mendel, and was further developed by geneticists and plant breeders.In 1908, GeorgeHarrison Shulldescribed heterosis, also known as hybrid vigor.Heterosis describes the tendency of the progeny of a specific cross to outperformboth parents. The detection of the usefulness of heterosis for plant breedinghas led to the development of inbred lines that reveal a heterotic yieldadvantage when they are crossed. Maize was the first species where heterosis waswidely used to produce hybrids.By the 1920s, statistical methods were developed to analyzegene action and distinguish heritable variation from variation caused byenvironment. In 1933, another important breeding technique, cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS), developed in maize, was described by MarcusMorton Rhoades. CMSis a maternally inherited trait that makes the plant produce sterile pollen. This enables the production of hybridswithout the need for labour intensive detasseling.These early breedingtechniques resulted in large yield increase in the United States in the early 20th century. Similaryield increases were not produced elsewhere until after World War II, the Green Revolution increased crop production in thedeveloping world in the 1960s.Classicalplant breeding

Classical plant breedinguses deliberate interbreeding (crossing) of closely or distantly relatedindividuals to produce new crop varieties or lines with desirable properties.Plants are crossbred to introduce traits/genes from one variety or line into a new geneticbackground. For example, a mildew-resistant pea may be crossed with a high-yielding butsusceptible pea, the goal of the cross being to introduce mildew resistancewithout losing the high-yield characteristics. Progeny from the cross wouldthen be crossed with the high-yielding parent to ensure that the progeny weremost like the high-yielding parent, (backcrossing). The progeny from that cross wouldthen be tested for yield and mildew resistance and high-yielding resistantplants would be further developed. Plants may also be crossed with themselvesto produce inbred varieties for breeding.Classical breeding relieslargely on homologousrecombinationbetween chromosomes to generate genetic diversity. The classical plant breeder mayalso makes use of a number of in vitro techniques such as protoplastfusion, embryo rescue or mutagenesis (see below) to generate diversity andproduce hybrid plants that would not exist in nature.Traits that breeders havetried to incorporate into crop plants in the last 100 years include:

  1. Increased quality and yield of the crop
  2. Increased tolerance of environmental pressures (salinity, extreme temperature, drought)
  3. Resistance to viruses, fungi and bacteria
  4. Increased tolerance to insect pests
  5. Increased tolerance of herbicides
Mass selection

Burbank cross-pollinated the flowers of plants by hand andplanted all the resulting seeds. He then selected the most promising plants tocross with other ones.
Personal life


By all accounts, Burbankwas a kindly man who wanted to help other people. He was very interested ineducation and gave money to the local schools. He married twice: to HelenColeman in 1890, which ended in divorce in 1896; and to Elizabeth Waters in1916. He had no children.Burbank also had amystical, spiritual side. His friend and admirer ParamahansaYogananda wrote inhis Autobiography of a Yogi:
"His heart was fathomlessly deep, longacquainted with humility, patience, sacrifice. His little home amid the roseswas austerely simple; he knew the worthlessness of luxury, the joy of fewpossessions. The modesty with which he wore his scientific fame repeatedlyreminded me of the trees that bend low with the burden of ripening fruits; itis the barren tree that lifts its head high in an empty boast."(Yogananda, 1946, p. 352)In a speech given to theFirst CongregationalChurch of SanFrancisco in 1926, Burbank said:
"I love humanity, which has been aconstant delight to me during all my seventy-seven years of life; and I loveflowers, trees, animals, and all the works of Nature as they pass before us intime and space. What a joy life is when you have made a close workingpartnership with Nature, helping her to produce for the benefit of mankind newforms, colors, and perfumes in flowers which were never known before; fruits inform, size, and flavor never before seen on this globe; and grains of enormouslyincreased productiveness, whose fat kernels are filled with more and betternourishment, a veritable storehouse of perfect food--new food for all theworld's untold millions for all time to come."Death

In mid-March 1926, Burbanksuffered a heart attack and became ill with gastrointestinal complications. He died on April 11,1926, aged 77, and is buried near the greenhouse at the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens.His last words were:"I don't feel good."Legacy

Burbank's work spurred thepassing of the 1930 Plant Patent Act four years after his death. Thelegislation made it possible to patent new varieties of plants (excluding tuber-propagated plants). In supporting thelegislation, ThomasEdison testifiedbefore Congress in support of the legislation and said that "This [bill] will,I feel sure, give us many Burbanks." The authorities issued Plant Patents#12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #18, #41, #65, #66, #235, #266, #267, #269, #290,#291, and #1041 to Burbank posthumously.In 1986, Burbank wasinducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, in downtown Santa Rosa, are now designated asa National Historic Landmark. Luther Burbank's Gold Ridge Experiment Farm is listed in the National Register of Historic Places a few miles west of Santa Rosa in the town of Sebastopol,California.The home that LutherBurbank was born in, as well as his California garden office, were moved by Henry Ford to Dearborn,Michigan, and arepart of GreenfieldVillage.The following are namedafter the horticulturist:

  • Luther Burbank Elementary School at 2035 N. Mobile in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois
  • Luther Burbank Elementary School in Oakland, California.
  • Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, California.
  • Luther Burbank High School in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Luther Burbank Middle School in Houston, Texas.
  • Luther Burbank Elementary School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, California.
  • The Luther Burbank School District in San Jose, California.
  • Santa Rosa's Luther Burbank Rose Parade and Festival.
  • Luther Burbank Elementary School in Burbank, Illinois.
  • Luther Burbank Elementary School in Santa Rosa, California.
  • Luther Burbank Savings Bank, with headquarters in Santa Rosa, California.
  • Santa Rosa used to have a performing arts center named after Burbank, but Wells Fargo bought naming rights for $3.2 million in 2006 and renamed it.
  • The Lancaster Middle School in Lancaster, Massachusetts, was renamed to Luther Burbank Middle School in 2003.
  • A middle school in Highland Park, Los Angeles, California, named Burbank Middle School was also named after Burbank.
  • Luther Burbank Elementary School in Altadena, California.
  • In 1931 the Boys Parental School located on Mercer Island, Washington, changed its name to Luther Burbank School. The school continued to function until 1966. The land on which the school was built was bought by King County and converted into Luther Burbank Park.
  • Burbank Elementary School in Roxana, Illinois, was named after Burbank. It was built in 1936, with an addition in 1966. Due to declining enrollment, the school was closed in 1983 and sold to a local chiropractor. It was transferred to the village and demolished in December 2008.
  • Luther Burbank Elementary School in Long Beach, California. Built and put into use before 1945 and still in operation in 2010.
  • Luther Burbank Elementary School in Logan Heights, San Diego, California.

Plant species named after LutherBurbank

  • Chrysanthemum burbankii Makino (Asteraceae)
  • Myrica × burbankii A.Chev. (Myricaceae)
  • Solanum burbankii Bitter (Solanaceae)

The standard author abbreviation Burbank is used to indicate this individual as the author when citing a botanical name.[5]References


  1. ^ Invent Now | Hall of Fame | Search | Inventor Profile
  2. ^ Gold Ridge Luther Burbank's Experiment Farm
  3. ^ http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3468300282.html
  4. ^ Journal of Heredity 2006 97(2):95-99; doi:10.1093
  5. ^ "Author Query". International Plant Names Index. http://www.ipni.org/ipni/authorsearchpage.do.
Further reading


  • Bailey, Liberty H. (August 1901). "A Maker of New Fruits and Flowers: How Luther Burbank Breeds New Varieties of Plants on His California Farm". The World's Work: A History of Our Time II: 1209–1214.
  • Burbank, Luther. “The Training of the Human Plant.” Century Magazine, May 1907. [1]
  • Smith, Jane S. (2009). The Garden of Invention: Luther Burbank and the Business of Breeding Plants. Penguin Group (USA). ISBN 1594202095, 9781594202094.
  • Burbank, Luther. The Canna and the Calla: and some interesting work with striking results. Paperback ISBN 978-1414702001
  • Burbank, Luther with Wilbur Hall, Harvest of the Years. This is Luther Burbank's autobiography published posthumously after his death in 1926.
  • Burbank, Luther. 1939.An Architect of Nature. Same details as ref. above, publisher: Watts & Co. (London) 'The Thinker's Library, No.76'
  • Burt, Olive W. Luther Burbank, Boy Wizard. Biography published by Bobbs-Merrill in 1948 aimed at intermediate level students.
  • Dreyer, Peter, A Gardener Touched With Genius The Life of Luther Burbank, # L. Burbank Home & Gardens; New & expanded edition (January 1993), ISBN 0-9637883-0-2
  • Kraft, K. Luther Burbank, the Wizard and the Man. New York : Meredith Press, 1967 ASIN: B0006BQE6C
  • Pandora, Katherine. "Luther Burbank". American National Biography. Retrieved on 2006-11-16.
  • Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. Los Angeles : Self-Realization Fellowship, 1946 ISBN 0-87612-083-4
  • "King of Horticulture". Overland Monthly XLII: 226–233. September 1903. http://books.google.com/?id=8WI4AAAAIAAJ&pg=RA6-PA226.
External links


  • A complete bibliography of books by and about Luther Burbank on WorldCat.
  • Luther Burbank Home and Gardens official website
  • National Inventors Hall of Fame profile
  • UN report on spineless cactus cultivation in Tunisia
  • Luther Burbank Virtual Museum
  • Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda, Chapter 38: Luther Burbank -- A Saint Amidst the Roses
  • The Wisdom of Life
  • A Rare Crossing: Frida Kahlo and Luther Burbank
  • Luther Burbank: His Methods and Discoveries and Their Practical Application, a 12-volume monographic series, is available online through the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center.
  • Official website of the Western Sonoma County Historical Society and Luther Burbank's Gold Ridge Experiment Farm
  • Burbank Steps Forward with a Super-Wheat, Popular Science monthly, January 1919, page 22; scanned by Google Books
  • "Burbank, Luther". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
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