J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1999, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (4): -.

• Research Articles •    

Aleading and Couragious Scientific Inference-

JING Yu-Xiang and ZHANG Wei-Cheng   

Abstract: Professor and Dr. WU Su-Xuan ( 1909 - 1979) did an experiment using bulb-scales of garlic ( Allium sativum L. ) after their dormancies as material which was f'Lxed, sectioned and stained with Feulgen reaction and light green, and observed under the light microscope. She found that the cell nuclei released into cytoplasm a substance which gathered near the nucleus and stained first as blue colour, then, gradually changed into red colour in different cells, resulting in forming new nuclei. Simultaneously, the original nuclei deformed and disappeared. This phenomenon was called cell nucleus renewal. She proposed the hypothesis that (1) the substance released from the nuclei contained RNA which could be transformed into DNA through a certain mechanism in the cells; and (2) the cell nucleus renewal would be relative to cell physiology, such as material transfer among the cells etc. This scientific inference could not be recognized and further confirmed at that time. With the development of molecular biology, a part of the inference "RNA→DNA'' has been already confirmed by reverse transcriptase mechanism in 1970 from the experiments by using viruses and in 1981 from the evidences that there are a lot of retrotransposons containing reverse transcriptase genes in eukaryotic cells, and telomerase which functions like reverse transcriptase. Certainly, the inference proposed by WU Su-Xuan in 1956 has its great significance in science. Professor and Dr. WU Su-Xuan was a well known plant cytologist in China. 1999 is the 90th anniversary of her birth and the day of April 16 this year is the 20th memorial of her death in 1979. The paper is to show our commemoration for her contributions to science.

Key words: Auium sativum, RNA, DNA, Cell nuclei renewal

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