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448 BOTANICAL GAZETTE [MAY

Knop's solution.-ToOLE and TOTTINGHAM5 findthatadditionsofFe(OH)3


to Knop's solutiongreatlyincreasesthe growthof barleytops in it (2i day
cultures),while additionsof carbon black depress the growthof tops and
additionsofH2SiO3have no effect. None of theseadditionsaffectthe growth
of the roots. Part of the beneficialaction of the Fe(OH)3 may be due to its
neutralizing actionon the acids of the solution. It is interesting
to note that
the higheradditionsof Fe(OH)3 removed90 per centof the phosphorusfrom
solution.
In anotherpiece of work,TOTTINGHAM6 has shownthat he can displace
morethan90 percentofthe 1IgSO4ofKnop's solutionwithMg(NO3)2without
interfering with the growthof red clover,a ratherheavy sulphurrequiring
plant. It is evidentthatsomeof the nutrientsin thecommonlyused nutrient
solutionsare far beyond the minimumconcentrationnecessaryto give the
plant its optimumsupply,and thattheso-calledoptimumconcentration of the
solutionis determined by otherfactorsthanoptimumsupply. The conditions
of and the mechanismforabsorptionfromthe soil (root hairs withtheiracid
pecticlayerin contactwithsoilparticlesbearingcertainnutrients in compounds
oflowsolubility)are quitedifferent.Workwithwatercultureshas established
some veryfundamental principlesin soil fertility(essentialnutrientelements,
necessityof balanced solutions,etc.). It is a questionhow much more this
methodalone is capable of adding to our knowledgeof soil fertility.In the
presentconcentrated nutrientsolutionswithwhichwe are workingwe may be
mainlyplayingthe toxicconcentration of one salt againstthe toxicconcentra-
tionof anotherin a way to get the least possibleinjury.-WM. CROCKER.

Chromosomes in Carex.-Oogenesisand spermatogenesis have beenstudied


by HEILBORN7 in several species of Carex, special attentionbeing given to
chromosomenumbers,whichvary greatlyin this genus. The gametophyte
numbersin the formsinvestigatedare as follows: Carexpilulifera8, C. erice-
torumi6, C. digitata24, C. caryophylla and C. flava 32. JUEL had already
reported52 forC. acuta,and STOUT 37 forC. aquatilis. It is interesting
to note
thatC. piluliferahas the largestchromosomes, and that in specieswithhigher
numbersthe chromosomesare correspondingly smaller. Attemptsto cross
the various species have not yet proved successful,but the workis still in
progress.-C. J. CHAMBERLAIN.

5 TOOLE E. H., and TOTTINGHAM, W. E., The influence ofcertainadded solidsupon


the compositionand efficiency of Knop's nutrientsolution. Amer.Jour.Bot. 5:452-
46I. i9i8.
6 TOTTINGHAM, XV. E., Sulfur requirementof red clover plant. Jour. Biol.
Chem. 36:429-438. igi8.
7 HEILBORN, OTTO, Zur Embryologieund ZytologieeinigerCarex-Arten. Svensk
BotaniskTidskrift12: 2 I 2-2 20. figS. I-I4. i 9 i 8.