During the summer of 1974 we discussed the state of molecular biology and biochemical developmental biology in plants on a few occasions in Paris and in Strasbourg. The number of laboratories engaged in such research is minute compared with those studying comparable problems in animal and bacterial systems, but by then much interesting work had been done and a great momentum was building. It seemed to us that the summer of 1976 would be a good time to review these areas of plant biology for students as well as advanced workers. We outlined a program for a course to colleagues both in Europe and the United States and asked a few potential lecturers if they would be interested. The response was not just positive; it was overwhelm ingly enthusiastic. Those who had some acquaintance with Alsace, and especially with Strasbourg, invariably told us that they had two reasons for being enthusiastic about participating - the subject and the proposed site. The lectures published here* reflect the diversity of current research in plant molecular biology and biochemical developmental biology. Each lecture gives us a glimpse of the depth of questions being asked, and sometimes answered, in segments of this field of investigation. This research is directed at fundamental biological problems, but answers to these questions will provide knowledge essential for bringing about major changes in the way the world's agricultural enterprise can be improved.
Organization and Replication of Nuclear and Chloroplast Genomes.- DNA Synthesis During Microsporogenesis.- Structure of Chloroplast DNA.- Transcription.- Purification and Characterization of Soybean DNA-Dependent RNA Polymerases and the Modulation of Their Activities During Development.- Transcription of the Nuclear Genome of Acetabularia.- Mode of Synthesis of Ribosomal RNA in Various Plant Organisms.- Translation: The Protein Synthesis Apparatus.- tRNAs and Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases in Plant Cytoplasm, Chloroplasts, and Mitochondria.- The Low-Molecular-Weight RNAs of Plant Ribosomes: Their Structure, Function, and Evolution.- The Genetics of the Chloroplast Ribosome in Chlamydomonas reinhardi.- Protein Synthesis in Plants: Specificity and Role of the Cytoplasmic and Organellar Systems.- Functional Characterization of the Initiation Factors of Wheat Germ.- Synthesis of Nucleic Acids and Protein by Organelles: Organelle — Nuclear Relationships.- Phenotypic markers for Chloroplast DNA Genes in Higher Plants and Their Use in Biochemical Genetics.- The Synthesis of Chloroplast Proteins.- Biosynthesis of Plant Mitochondrial Proteins.- Control of Nucleic Acids and Protein Synthesis by Hormones and Environmental Factors.- The Effect of Light on RNA and Protein Synthesis in Plants.- Protein Deposition in Developing Cereal and Legume Seeds.- Regulation of Translation of Stored mRNA of Dicot Seeds.- Hormonal Control of Protein Synthesis.- The Control of Plant Growth by Protein Kinases.- Foreign DNA and Plant Cells: Plant Viruses.- General Properties of Isolated Protoplasts and Uptake of Foreign Genetic Material.- Agrobacterium tumefaciens: What Segment of the Plasmid Is Responsible for the Induction of Crown Gall Tumors?.- Nucleotide Sequences of Plant Viral RNAs.- Viroids in Agriculture.- Aminoacylation of Viral RNAs.- In Vivo and In Vitro Translation of the RNAs of Alfalfa Mosaic Virus.