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AN ADVANCE IN THE SCIENCE OF
Prof. W. J. Spillman. formerly agri
culturist of the Washington State Ex
periment Station, now connected with
tho United States Agricultural De-
I artnient at Washington City, has
been making some extensive experi
ments in cross-breeding. The Wash
ington City Times of OcUfber 12 has
the following article relative to his
investigations, which will prove of in
terest to his many friends of the North
"Government scientists who have
just returned from the international
conference on plant breeding and hy
bridization in New York, are unquali
fiedly enthusiastic over the exploita
tion of a new principle in biology,
which they describe as a discovery as
important as that of the atomic theo
ry of matter, or Darwin's enunciation
Of the origin of species.
"This principle, known as Mendall's
law, will, it is maintained, enable the
breeder of plants, and to a somewhat
less degree of animals, to hybridize
and cross varieties with the same cer
tainty with which the chemist com
pounds materials or the mathemati
cian works out an equation. Men
dall's law, briefly stated, is that a first
cross will result in offspring resem
bling one or the other parent, but
possessing in an undeveloped form,
termed by German scientists "reces
sive," the attributes of the other. The
second cross will result in five types,
possessing, respectively, the character
istics of one parent, of both parents,
and of both parents in varying de
grees. An example furnished is as
Experiment With Mice.
"A cross between Japanese (colored)
dancing mice and non-dancing albino
(white) mice will inevitably produce in
the second generation prototypes of
each of the original progenitors, and
also dancing albinos and non-dancing
Japanese mice, each in the approxim
ate proportion of one-fourth.
"A botanical experiment conducted
by Spillman consisted of the crossing
of a bearded wheat, having hairy or
"velvet" chaff, with a beardless wheat,
having smooth or "glabrous" chaff. The
second generation consisted of four
varieties, two resembling the originals,
one bearded with glabrous chaff, the
other beardless, with velvet chaff, and
each variety was produced in the pro
portion of one-fourth. Further experi
ments demonstrated that each variety
"bred true" in subsequent generations.
May Perpetuate Production.
"A further demonstration of this
principle is found in the fact that
where two self-sterile varieties are
crossed all subsequent generations are
prototypes of the first cross. In the
case of the apples of commerce it has
heretofore been impossible to foretell
what the seed from any variety would
produce, but by the hybridization of
two self-sterile varieties the variety
produced may be perpetuated continu
ously by the seed produced.
"The rediscovery of Mendall's law
promises to revolutionize the hybridi
zation of plants and the breeding of
animals. It has obliterated the now ob
solete theories of atavism and trans
formed cross breeding from anarchy to
order. From the point of view of pure
science it is a triumph of the first mag
nitude. From the point of view of ap-
Story of Mendall's Law.
"The story of Mendall's law is evolv-
Ed at the conference referred to is as
follows: It was first discovered by a
German monk, named Mendall, in. 1865.
He expounded his theory in what is
now said to be one of the finest scien
tific theses in existence, and printed it
in an obscure publication in a little
German village, where it attracted
practically no attention, and was sub
sequently lost to the world. Within
the last two years the principle w^ts re
discovered, practically simultaneously,
by four biological investigators—Hugo
de Vries, of Holland; Prof. Correns, of
Germany; W. Bateson, of St. Andrew's
University, of Scotland, and W. J.
Spillman, of the United States Depart
ment of Agriculture.
"The first announcement in this
country was made in Washington,
where Prof. Spillman expounded the
then but partially proved theory before
the Association of American Agricul
tural colleges last November. At that
time the theory was received with lim
ited credence, but its confirmation in
New York by three foreign investiga
tors, together with the statement j that
Prof. Correns' discovery had served to
bring to light Mendall's long-forgotten
thesis, leaves no room for further
TREATING WHEAT FOR SMUT.
R. Kent Beattie, of the agricultural
college, takes issue with Lillis Smith
on the smut question, Mr. Beattie giv
ing his views in the following article
in the Pullman Herald:
"I can not agree in full with Mr.
Smith's method of treating the wheat.
It is, however, a step in the right di
rection. It is much more effective to
treat the wheat loose in a trough than
to dip it in the sack. I believe, how
ever, that the trough should be more
than 12 inches wide, 12 inches deep
and 12 feet long. Such a narrow
trough, it is true, was described in the
press bulletin issued by the experi
ment station this spring, but further
experience has shown that a larger
one is preferable. One at least 12 feet
long, 2 feet wide and 1 foot 9 inches
deep, holding at least 20 bushels at
one filling, is much more convenient.
It can then be used as a watering
trough when not in use for treating of
Vitriol Solutions Too Strong.
"Mr. Smith suggests the use of 10 to
25 pounds of vitriol to the 90 gallons
of water which his trough contains.
This is from two to four times as
strong as is ordinarily employed by
the farmer. With these strong solu
tions it is not possible to soak the
wheat for a very long time or it will
be injured. Now, every wheat grain
has on one side a groove. If you cut
across a kernel you will find that this
groove is T-shaped and that it runs
into the wheat kernel. It is here that
many smut grains lie hidden. It is
not possible by soaking one minute
or five minutes or even for 20 minutes,
to drive the air out of this groove and
to wet the smut that is hidden there
in. The use of strong vitriol for a
short time simply covers the grain
with chrystals of vitriol and these
tend to retard the growth of the smut
plant for a time.
"If the weather is favorable when
the wheat is planted it soon germi
nates and the wheat growth gets the
start of the retarded smut. Thus it
escapes being smutty. If, however, the
weather at the planting season is un
favorable and the wheat lies in the
ground a long time, the vitriol is all
dissolved away by the soil and the
Social progress has done away with a
great many forms of punishment once
administered under the laws of enlight
ened people. But nature never changes
or modifies her penalties. She still has
. ■ the same punish
x ment for the man
■ik tf~% who neglects or
* -y*V—jA^m_^v- abuses his stomach
iw m£j*miu as she had in the
Off M 7 Wr far off days " when
fSSr Adam delved and
'• ffit§tosßfi&lL The physical dis
i WjWf\ §jP|P comfort, dullness,
f> If i 1 ffj J\ sluggishness, irri-
X. II I / ' tability, nervous
jkj L^Mi ness and sleepless-
A^ jv/ ness which are
mL v / visited upon the
Tfl^ v/ man who eats care
|ht lessly or irregularly
WTj ■ have been from the
»| , ■ beginning the cvi-
W m dences of disease of
/■ ■ ■■?> —r—i the stomach and its
/ /-^^3 Sy \ \ associated organs of
/ i—Tatar - r \ \ digestion and nu
■mmap ** Dr. Pierces Gold
en Medical Discovery cures the diseased
stomach and enables the perfect digestion
and assimilation of food, so that the
sluggishness, irritability, nervousness and
sleeplessness which result from innutri
tion are cured also.
«I was taken sick nine years ago with fever."
writes Mr. M. M.Wardwell, of Linwood, Leaven
worth Co., Kansas. "Had the doctor and he
broke up the fever all right, but I took diar
rhoea right away; he couldn't cure it and it
became chronic, and then he gave up the case.
I got so weak with it and had piles so badly I
couldn't lie down, nor hardly sit up. Was
that way two or three months ; thought I would
' never be well again,' but picked up one of Dr.
Pierces Memorandum Books one day and saw
your description of catarrh of the stomach. I
thought it hit my case. We had a bottle of Dr.
Pierces Golden Medical Discovery in the house
that was got for mother. You recommend it for
catarrh of the stomach, so I went to taking it.
The one bottle nearly cured me. I got two bot
ties next time and took one and one-half and
was well. I haven't been bothered with diar
rhoea since." . , .. *
Dr. Pierces Pellets cure biliousness.
smut is again active. S"uch was the
case last fall. Our cold, dry autumn
caused the wheat to germinate very
slowly and much smut this year is the
consequence. With such a short soak
ing as is usually given it is not possi
ble to penetrate the smut balls and, as
Mr. Smith says, they are broken in
the seeder or in handling and resmut
the wheat that has been treated.
"That the ordinary method of vitriol
ing is not effective as a treatment is
shown by the accumulated experience
of eastern Washington farmers. In
spite of the hundreds of pounds of vit
riol that were used this year by the
wheat farmers, Whitman county lost
more than half a million dollars from
smut, and the state of Washington
lost not less than two and a half mil
Mr. Kittzmiller's Experience.
"Ed. Kittzmiller's experience this
year is instructive. Mr. Kittzmiller
has a large farm three miles north of
Fjullman and is one of the most careful
farmers in Whitman county. Last fall
he treated his seed wheat very care
fully with vitriol. He used one pound
of vitriol for every five bushels of
"He times every sack for a full five
minutes. In spite of all this, over 1000
bushels of his wheat were so smutty
that the wheat was docked two cents
per bushel. Probably 15 to 20 per
cent of it stayed in the field as smut.
"The great lack of uniformity of re
sults which the farmers get with vit
riol is not well understood as yet. It
is probably due to the fact that the
seed which is treated is in many cases
clean and free from smut. When a
farmer once gets a good clean crop
and plants seed from it he will likely
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Dirctors: Frederick Wm. Zimmerman,
\V. Vnughan Arthur.
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The Faculty Includes some of the leading
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Certificates. Diplomas, Medals and De
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SEND FOR CATALOGUE.
All business communications should be
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