Robert Morton, an Australian biochemist, had recently found that baker's yeast contained a cytochrome (a protein involved
in electron transfer in cell metabolism) with a DNA component. That DNA proved to have different base ratios than the yeast's
nuclear DNA. He had suggested that this DNA could be used in understanding nucleotide sequences, and Kornberg had been working
with some samples Morton sent, looking at their ability to prime DNA synthesis with his polymerase. In this letter, Kornberg
apologized for letting other projects delay his work on the Morton DNA.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (55,620 Bytes)
1962-10-29 (October 29, 1962)
Morton, Robert K.
University of Adelaide. Waite Agricultural Research Institute
Original Repository: Stanford University Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Arthur Kornberg Papers
Reproduced with permission of Arthur Kornberg.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
"Creating Life in the Test Tube," 1959-1970
October 29, 1962
I was very happy to have your letter and especially delighted that you were not angry with me for my neglect in our correspondence.
You must have understood that our good intentions to pursue the Morton DNA problem were overwhelmed by several other things
which seemed more pressing at the time. Fortunately, the prospect that Jackson might take up this work and provide a closer
link with your laboratory's efforts seemed like a reasonable compromise for pursuing this problem.
As you know, we are very anxious to use a small primer of defined structure to settle a number of questions about the way
in which polymerase works. The use of your DNA may provide the very reagent we need for this work and it certainly deserves
serious effort. I am looking forward to having John Jackson here and am enthusiastic about the prospects of his success on
this problem. When he is on the scene we will reappraise our status and keep you closely informed of our difficulties as
well as any success we may have.
I was also relieved to hear in your letter that you are feeling well and had a pleasant visit in England.
I really would like to visit you sometime and look forward to having you here again soon.