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Abstract Detail


A tribute to Lawrence R. Blinks: Ions, light, and algae

Eppley, Richard W. [1].

A tribute to Professor L. R. Blinks.

GRADUATE work under Professor L. R. Blinks transformed me from a kid interested in chemistry and plants to an algal physiologist. Under his direction (1954-1957), I worked on ion transport in the red seaweed Porphyra perforata. In his summer course on algal physiology, Professor Blinks spoke of the strong acidity in some species of Desmatrestia. He and I found that hydrogen ions replaced potassium ions in a one-to-one ratio in the vacuoles of the cells and published that, as well as the Porphyra results. I continued the Porphyra work in Los Angeles, but the poor supply of the alga south of Point Conception restricted the work. Meanwhile, my undergraduate professor at Washington State University, Noe Higinbotham, was using microelectrodes to measure the electric potential of higher plants cells, following L. R. Blinks’ classic measurements with Valonia and Halicystis many years earlier. I packed up some Porphyra and took it to Noe Higinbotham’s lab, where we measured potentials with the Higinbotham electrode system. Higinbotham planned to continue the Porphyra work in his retirement at the Friday Harbor Laboratories but he died prematurely.

Professor Blinks was aware that in the 1970-1980s a number of his graduate students were coming out of the Scripps laboratories, who were studying phytoplankton physiology and ecology. They and their students are continuing in his tradition with studies on scales from picoplankton to the carbon cycle and global warming. -DU


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1 - 1969 Loring Ave., San Diego, California, 92109-1406

Keywords:
Algal Physiology
Porphyra
ion transport
Desmatresia
Noe Higinbotham
L.R. Blinks.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 18-3
Location: 134/Performing Arts Center
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 1:45 PM
Abstract ID:34


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