The late Dr. H. W. Li The late Mr. S. Sampath The late Dr. Hsien-Wen LiDr. H. W. Li was born on 10 October 1902 in a farming family in Tsiang- king, Szechuang, China, and attended the Tsing-Hua Preparatory School at Beijing. He obtained his Ph. D. from Cornell University in 193O. He began his teaching and research career in several universities in China. During the Second World War, he worked at Rice and Wheat Improvement Station at Chengdu. After the War, he joined the Institute of Botany at Shanghai, and was elected a member of the Academia Sinica. In 1949, he came to Taiwan and served as advisor to Taiwan Sugar Cooperation. He selected a variety NCO310 which was resistant to downy mildew and leaf-scorch; these were serious diseases of sugar cane. In 1960, he was appointed as chairman of the Preparatory Office of Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica, and started training young scientists. He established well equipped laboratories and an excellent library.
Dr. Li carried out studies on evolution and cytogenetics of rice. He and his colleagues discovered various abnormalities in interspecific crosses, such as defective spindle formation and non-synchronization of chromosome movement with cytokinesis, resulting in the formation of restitution nuclei having an unreduced set of parental chromosomes at a certain frecuency. His findings stimulated interest in different crosses for rice varietal improvement. Dr. Li passed away on 4 July 1976. He is affectionately remembered as an eminent scientist and great leader by his colleagues. (Chang-Hung Chou)
The Late Mr. Sreenivasachari SampathSreenivasachari Sampath was born on November 2, 1911 in Tamil Nadu State, India and breathed his last on 10th March, 1989 at his home in Madras City. He had his early education in Tamil Nadu and took his Master's degree in botany from the Presidency College, Madras. Later he spent some years at the University of London and worked with the renowned cytologist, Dr. C. R. Darlington. Between 1945-1951, Mr. Sampath taught at Agricultural College Coimbatore, Agricultural College Bapatia and Banaras Hindu University. In 1952, he joined the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack and started his most productive career in rice research.
He was a member of the team working on indica X japonica hybridization program sponsored by FAO at CRRI. He proposed cytological explanation for the spikelet sterility observed in the indica X japonica hybrids. He devoted many years of his research career toward understanding the species relationships in genus Oryza. These investigations led him to propose a hypothesis on the origin of cultivated rice. He undertook studies on induced polyploidy and mutagenesis and trained numerous students who conducted their thesis research under his supervision.
He was founder member of the Association of Rice Research Workers (ARRW) and the first Editor of the journal Oryza published by ARRW. He epitomized the concept of simple living and high thinking. He contributed regularly to charitable institutions from his modest income. Polite in words, gentle in manner and considerate to others, he was widely respected by his colleagues. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law. (R. Seetharaman)