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The Joshua Lederberg Papers

Letter from C. B. Van Niel to Joshua Lederberg pdf (248,989 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from C. B. Van Niel to Joshua Lederberg
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
4 (248,989 Bytes)
1946-12-08 (December 8, 1946)
Van Niel, C. B.
Lederberg, Joshua
Reproduced with permission of Jan Van Niel.
Lederberg Grouping: Correspondence A
Box Number: 6
Folder Number: 75
Unique Identifier:
Accession Number:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1935-2002
SubSeries: 1925-1947
Folder: Van Niel, C. B.
[written in right margin, Van Niel, C. B.]
Dec. 8 '46.
Sunday Morning.
Dear Mr. Lederberg,
When I returned from my multifarious wanderings to the West Coast, about the 1st of November, I stayed in Pacific Grove for a couple of weeks in order to write up the talk I had given at Princeton. Mail sent to the Calif. Institute was kept here for me. As a result I did not get your letter of Nov. 4 until about the 15th-20th, when I finally returned to Pasadena.
Then I realized that I had shamefully forgotten to look over my card index files for references on variation of a heritable nature -- as I had promised to do when I last saw you in New Haven. Two ways were open to me: write home and have that part of the files dealing with variability sent down to me here -- or wait till I would be in Carmel next. For various reasons I took the latter course, and during my last visit to Carmel, a week ago, I made the requisite notes for replying more or less adequately to your letter. When I returned to Pasadena just a week ago, there was so much work to do that I felt compelled to postpone for another week the sorting-out of references etc. which I had collected. Now is my chance, and here follow some titles which I believe you ought to consider:
J.C. Appleby. Cytology and methods of reproduction of two cocci, and the possible relation of these organisms to a spore forming rod. J. Bact. 38. 641. 1939.
M.W. Beijerinck. Sur diverses formes de variation hereditaire chez les microbes. Soc Holland. des Sciences, Haarlem, 1900.
This can also be found in:
Proc. Sec. Sci. Kon. Akao. [?] v. Wetensch., Amsterdam, 3. 352, 1900, and in
M.W. Beijerinck, Verzamelde Werken, Vol. 4, 37, 1921.
K.W. Clauberg. Untersuchunger zur Frape der Zyklogenie des Typhusbazillus. Centr. f. Bakteriol., I. Abt. Originale, 105. 161, 1928.
Hans David. Beitrage zur Morphologie der Bakterien, Centr. f. Bakt., II. Abt., 70, 1, 1927.
L. Dienes. The significance of the large bodies and the development of L.-type colonies in bacterial cultures. J. Bacteriol., 44, 37, 1942
G. Enderlein. Bakterie Cyclogenie. 1923. Borntrager (?) (I forgot to look up the publisher.
Do. -- Various articles in the:
Archiv fur die Entwicklungsgeschichte der Bakterien. Heft 1 and 2. (plus or minus 1931).
Bruno Kober. Uber die Physiologie und Morphologie von Actinomyces oligocarbophilus und dessen Bedeutung fur den Ackerboden. Centr. f. Bakteriol. II. Abt., 79. 370. 1929.
Kuhn und Sternberg. Uber Bakterien und Pettenkoferien. Centr. f. Bakt. I. Abt., Orig. 121. 113, 1931.
[line to, See also the critique to this paper by:
Gerh. Fliegel. Entwicklungsvorgange in Reinkulturen von Bact. coli. Arch. Mikrobiol., 7, 491, 1936.]
R. Lieske. Morphologie und Biologie der Strahlenpilze. Borntrager, Leipzig, 1921, espec. pp. 48-93, and 172-194.
F. Lohnis and N.R. Smith. Life Cycles of the bacteria.
I. J. Agric. Res., 6. 675, 1916
II. so. [?] 23. 401, 1923
F. Lohnis. Studies upon the life cycles of bacteria. Pt. I. Review of the Literature, 1838-1918. Mem. Nat. Acad. Sci., 16 number 2., 335 pp., 1921.
F.H. Stewart. Mendelian variation in the paracolon mutable colon group, and the application of Mendel's principle to the theory of acquired virulence. Jour. Hyg., 25. 237, 1926.
Do . . -- The life cycle of bacteria. Alternate asexual and autogamic phases. Jour. Hyg., 27, 379, 1928.
The references to Mellon's work are quite incomplete; there is a general summary of his work:
Ralph. R. Mellon. The polyphasic potencies of the bacterial cell; general biologic and chemotherapeutic significance. Jour. Bact. 44, 1. 1942,
There [?] you can also find a complete bibliography of his earlier writings.
I do not mean to imply that all these articles and books should be part of the bibliography of your paper. But I do insist that you should familiarize yourself with these publications, so that you will know what others have thought and done about problems which are related to sexual reproduction in bacteria.
There's one more paper for which I could not find a card. It deals with supposed conjugation of spirilla and of Chromatium in cultures of these organisms; Was written by Pothoff, and published around 1926-27 in Centralbl. f. Bakteriol., probably in the II. Abt.
I hope that this may still be of use to you; even if the paper (or thesis) has already been completed, I believe that, in order to gain some more perspective, you would do well to look at these papers.
The results of the simultaneous inoculation of three types (A minus B minus C plus; A minus B plus C minus; A plus B minus C minus) was very interesting. However, you failed to write that A plus B plus C minus, A plus B minus C plus, and A minus B plus C plus had been recovered from the culture, merely stating that A plus B plus C plus was not found. Yet, the former should form an equally important part of the argument.
Best wishes and regards, also to the other friends at New Haven,
C.B. Van Niel.
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