Roger Yate Stanier, 1916-1982: a transcendent journey


  • Alexander N. Glazer Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA


phototrophic prokaryotes, Beijerinck, Kluyver, van Niel, Stanier


The Tenth International Symposium on Phototrophic Prokaryotes Barcelona, 26±31 August 2000) was the latest in a series of conferences initiated by Roger Stanier in 1971 to create ties within the community of scientists working with cyanobacteria or green and purple bacteria. Consonant with Stanier's own work, the subjects of these conferences range broadly from systematics and ecology through genetics, biochemistry and physiology. The effort to define comprehensively the place of bacteria in the living world was the leitmotif in Stanier's work, the subject of one of his earliest papers in 1941), and revisited for the final time in his autobiographical memoir of 1980. Salvador Luria noted that Stanier “...always pursued broad naturalistic interests along with chemical ones, deliberately emphasizing morphology and ecology side by side with biochemistry.” Chronologically, Stanier's work addressed taxonomic and nutritional aspects of the cytophagas, enzyme induction and patterns of regulation of enzyme synthesis, aromatic degradative pathways, characterization of what would subsequently be called 70S bacterial ribosomes, the regulation of bacteriochlorophyll synthesis by nonsulfur purple bacteria, protection by carotenoids against photooxidative damage, the path of carbon in heterotrophy, the molecular basis of streptomycin dependence, the life cycle of Caulobacter, the taxonomy of pseudomonads, and, for the last 12 years of his life, wide-ranging studies of the cyanobacteria.






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