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Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Mortimer Starr

Publication Date
  • Medicine


October 17, ;$.50. Ur. Hortiraer P. Y&r, Deportit of Bact44riology, fkritr(srsity of calmmia, Davis, Call.forRia. I prded that I would write to you to attainpt to axcite your enthwiwm for the problem of gemt&c recombiuatfon in phytopathogenlc bacteria - and th3.a is it. 5 think that 1 d&d remmbsr to send you A mimeograp!md oopy of aa ot axp0r&amntal p~)$tmda in &a prodmtlon of 4mtant8. They ara all really quita aixplo and successful, particularly X you knm the r ral nutritional ldioqmmmfee of the organism you we work- with. a technL.~uues for ident#D.catfon of nutrftLonal re:pirments of mtantrr are also includad, but you chid have written that chapter from your own expsrienct%. Undtar saparata c~tw, XKL asnd you all of ths other reprhts wh!-ch I aanafford,Soras of t&errs are ruarlyexhausted, 60 I amgoing tom&s the rather unusual rquest that you return those mwke.i ~*-%mse rc! turn", at your leisure, Wllazklr they 4.U be of 8pecia.l us0 to you bec.stusa of JroUr undsrtak~ this kind of work. The mainleads whichpointto phytopathogena a li$slynr~tarial are the papers of &aun and Elrod, d. Bat&or. 528 695-702 1946, and their predwmrorr Stapp 1942 and Stapp and Bortsls 1931, 00x4 there. Fro= the gerural. mrpho- log&ml deacript%om, I sPspectthatA~b#~iuolrPdiob~tsr would tbo do laa well or better. Do you know of other bacteria Bn tbhfa group w&.ich form stor-shapad cluoterr under experimM&ly r~producibla conditions? %a gan&tr%nvestigat~a of thaas forma deea iqortanton two gmand8. FiustAy, we have a cytological. ptctura, already szade, &ich points toward8 tlrrr possf~ifg of ~(uollis1 bunion, Xf this aan bs verUied, it would be u considasmbl.8 at4sp ahe;rd of E. coli K-12 wham only the genetic ~:icture ti available. Secondly, mmmbination would allow an &alysis of the problsar of pathogenioity in1 sage, &baoteriua &mfwie~, and could throw mm light ia pcirtiular on the gradual attanuation of v%rulene~ of tM.8 rpeules byproPongedcultiPnt%on on

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