Fire Blight: The Foundation of Phytobacteriology tells the story of the exciting first decades of fire blight research. This fascinating collection of papers from the early 19th and 20th centuries highlights work from three notable scientists who pioneered work on the disease – Thomas Jonathan Burrill, Joseph Charles Arthur, and Merton Benway Waite.
These papers establish the fundamental concept that bacteria could cause plant disease and provide the first proof that insects acted as vectors of plant pathogens. The discoveries recorded here belong to the same class of scientific breakthroughs as the work on rust and smut disease in the 1850's, which revealed the fact of fungal pathogenicity. The importance of the early studies on fire blight also relate to the development of biology and bacteriology because the revelation that bacteria could cause plant disease came at virtually the same time as the similar discovery with human and animal diseases. And the research in the role of insects in the spread of disease appeared contemporaneously with reports of insect vectors in animal disease.
Plant pathologists, horticulturists, and historians of science will treasure this collection of papers that expose not only the early details on fire blight but also the identification of the need for research and the authors' experimental techniques. Carefully selected by the editors, Fire Blight: The Foundation of Phytobacteriologys clearly reveal the developing nature of plant pathology and lead the reader through the captivating – and sometimes lesser known – research of times gone by.
" [...] emphatically recommended as reading material."
– Journal of Phytopathology
"This book should be required reading for all teaching botanists."
– Plant Science Bulletin
"This book is a reminder of the privileges we enjoy with our modern equipment and high-quality microscopes but also how much we stand on the shoulders of our predecessors. My congratulations to the authors of this volume for heightening our awareness of the conditions and accomplishments of those who came before us!"
Fire Blight: The History, Science, and Politics of a Disease
Thomas Jonathan Burrill
Discussion on the Reports from the Transactions of the Illinois State Horticultural Society, 1879
Blight of Pear and Apple Trees, 1881
Joseph Charles Arthur
Proof that Bacteria are the Direct Cause of the Disease in Trees Known as Pear Blight, 1886
History and Biology of Pear Blight, 1886
Merton Benway Waite
Results from Recent Investigations in Pear Blight, 1892
The Life-History and Characteristics of the Pear-Blight Germ, 1898
Relation of Bees to the Orchard, 1902
Pear Blight and Its Treatment – Life History of the Disease, 1904
Fire Blight in the 20th Century
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