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The history of plant physiology in Argentina

...¡y nos fuimos por las ramas!

The Argentine Society of Plant Physiology (SAFV, from Sociedad Argentina de Fisiología Vegetal) was founded in December 1958, just as plant physiological research was beginning to take off in Argentina. Today research in this discipline is carried out by productive and enthusiastic groups all over the country.

Edith Taleisnik and Alberto Golberg undertook the task of documenting the history of the SAFV for the first time, which meant gathering loose pieces of information and putting it together within a logical framework. Colleagues from across the country contributed with conference books, pictures and anecdotes. The book traces the origin of experimental plant biology in Argentina to the great botanist Lorenzo Parodi, and specifically, to two of his followers, Alberto Soriano and Enrique Sivori, who are identified as the founders of research groups into plant ecophysiology and physiology in Argentina.

The title of the book, ‘…¡y nos fuimos por las ramas!’ means “we went along the branches…”; it is a common saying in Spanish that refers to wandering from the original topic and, in this case, it also refers to the numerous branches of research areas initiated by these scientists. It includes interviews with some of the students of those two leaders, who in turn initiated groups that developed, diversified and spread the discipline. These researchers reflect on the past, illustrating how innovative people had to be, substituting scarce equipment and facilities with inventive solutions. They also offer critical views on the future, identifying challenges and opportunities.

An analysis of the increasing participation in the society’s regular conferences, the list of presidents, conference locations, and foreign invited speakers is also part of this book. It is followed by reviews of topics where research carried out in Argentina has made significant contributions to knowledge, and it is complemented by short essays by most of the many groups that currently work on plant physiology in Argentina.

The book's cover includes a description written by Carlos Ballaré, who underscores the human dimension of this history of the SAFV, the Sociedad Argentina de Fisiología Vegetal.

The book has been edited by the SAFV and printed copies can be purchased; for requests please write to Lilian Ayala ([email protected]).

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