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Professor Leslie Godell Paleg (1929-2012)
Papers 1974-1994

MSS 0167

Biographical Note

Leslie Paleg (right) with Don AspinallProfessor Leslie Godell Paleg was a talented scholar, researcher and educator, whose work made a significant impact on the field of plant physiology, specifically in relation to seed germination, and the discovery that a plant hormone could influence the activity of an enzyme.

Born on August 26, 1929 in New York City, he completed his undergraduate studies at Washington University in 1950 majoring in Zoology and Chemistry, after which he attended Iowa State University, where he was awarded his MA in 1951 and PhD in 1955. During his post-graduate course he received an Iowa State University Fellowship and was employed as a Teaching and Research Fellow in the Department of Botany and the Radiation Research Laboratory of the University.

After graduation he joined the Division of Biological and Medical Research of Argonne National Laboratory as a Post-doctoral Assistant Scientist, and remained there until 1957 when he moved to South Australia and joined the Department of Plant Physiology of the Waite Agricultural Research Institute as a lecturer, and later Senior Lecturer, Acting Head of department, Reader and Professor until his retirement in 1993. Professor Paleg was awarded the honorary degree of DSc by the University of Adelaide in 1978.

These papers were donated in 2013 by Professor Paleg's daughters Robin Kornfeld, Kim Paleg and Julie Gordon. Professor Paleg's collection of historic bunsen burners were donated to University Art & Heritage.

Contents Listing

Series 1: Biographical  5 cm

Award to Leslie Godell Paleg from the University of Adelaide for service of 25 years (Pewter medallion in wooden casing 9x9x2.5 cm) Also letter and enclosed photograph of award presentation from Kevin Marjoribanks, Acting Vice-Chancellor

Washington University memorabilia (Bronze keyring inscribed: Washington University - Saint Louis - 1853)

Copy of 'This Week's Citation Classic' from Current Contents (Citation Classic Commentaries) - awarded to Leslie Paleg in 1979 for his paper "Physiological effects of gibberellic acid. I. On carbohydrate metabolism and amylase activity of barley endosperm. Plant Physiol. 35: 293-9, 1960.


  • ‘Lasers and plants' - 14/8/1978 - Dept. Plant Physiology. Professor Paleg (at rear) & Don Aspinall (10 copies - 1 large, 3 medium, 6 small) B&W
  • Another photograph taken on the same occasion as above (6 small copies) B&W
  • Photograph taken on the occasion of the presentation of Professor Paleg's University Medallion for Long Service (25 years). 1986 (colour). With an accompanying letter from Kevin Marjoribanks (Acting Vice-Chancellor).
  • Spiral bound booklet of 6 photographs taken at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Colloque International de Biologie Vegetale ‘Les regulateurs naturels de la croissance vegetale' - GIF s/ Yvette 15-20 Juillet 1963 - 15 quai Anatole France - Paris VII
  • Various undated photographs (mainly group photographs) taken at conferences, official occasions and functions (16 items)
  • Photograph taken of Professor Paleg, after having been awarded the honorary degree of DSc in 1978 (photographic image on DVD).

Series 2. Correspondence  3 cm

1978 - letters from Paleg to Dr. Graham Ogilvie (CSIRO); Dr. Louis Davies (AWA); Dr. E Sandbach (PMG Telecommunications Labs). Reply from H.S. Wragge (Telecom Australia) (4 items)
1978 - letter from A. Stanco of Quentron Optics to Paleg re: info on environmental specifications of the 125 HeNe laser
1979 - letter from Paleg to Clive Richardson re: programme for analysis of chrysanthemums
1979 - letter from Paleg to L.W. Davies (Amalgamated Wireless - Australasia Limited)
1979 - letters from Paleg to Dr. Ken E. Cockshull (Glasshouse Crops Research Institute, England) (2 items)
1987 - letter from Paul Wardill to Paleg re: silica fiber (Quentron Optics Pty. Ltd) with enclosed General Fiber Optics catalogue
1990 - letter from Peter Hart to Paleg re: optical fibre
1990 - letter and brochure (‘Fiber optics for remote spectroscopy') from Phillip J. Clancy (PJC Marketing) re: fibre optic probes
1991 - letter and documents (NMR scans) from Dr K. Schwab to Paleg

See also correspondence in Series 4

Series 3. Associations  4 cm

  • University of Adelaide Centenary 1874-1974 memorabilia
    Booklets: ‘The University of Adelaide Centenary'; ‘Centenary Oration'; ‘Centenary Seminar'; ‘Centenary Commemoration'; ‘Centenary Assembly'; ‘Centenary Concert'; ‘Centenary Banquet'
  • Letters of correspondence in relation to Leslie Paleg serving as official delegate of the University of Iowa at the Centenary Celebrations at the University of Adelaide (8 items)

Series 4. Research interests  18 cm

  • Articles, notes and correspondence in relation to Pyruvate Carboxylase
  • Notes relating to a talk given in Newcastle (Biology of compatible solutes)
  • Handwritten notes for a presentation on unidentified subjects
  • Notes dated March, 1984 - Includes 2 exercise books and loose sheets relating to DNA precipitation data
  • Notes labelled PISA Laser - ASPP Adelaide laser talk
  • Documents relating to lasers and plant growth and the purchase of laser equipment - Includes notebook, reprinted articles, brochures, correspondence, newspaper clippings and patent documentation
  • Notes and correspondence relating to the manuscript ‘Field control of plant growth and development through the laser activation of phytochrome', and it's publication in Nature
  • Collection of notes and experimental data regarding DNA - dated 1992
  • Collection of notes and experimental data regarding pea DNA - dated 1994

See also correspondence in Series 2

    Series 5. Publications  15 cm

    Reprints by Professor Paleg:

    • Paleg L. G., & Aspinall, D. 1977, ‘Control of flowering in chrysanthemum with a helium-neon laser', Acta Horticulturae, vol. 68, pp. 69-74.
    • Paleg, L. G., & Aspinall, D. 1977, ‘Light effects on plants', International Plant Propagators' Society Combined Proceedings for 1977, vol. 27, pp. 527-536.

    Other publications by Professor Paleg:

    • Professor L. Paleg and collaborators (Dr. A. Wood, Dr. A. Marker, Dr. G.P. Jones and Dr. N. Misso) ‘Mechanism of hormone action' [research report?]
    • Notes and correspondence between L. G. Paleg, D. F. Gaff, Graham P. Jones and Karin Schwab relating to a co-authored paper
    • Paleg, L. G., & Aspinall, D. 1981, ‘The physiology and biochemistry of drought resistance in plants'. Includes letter from Dallas Cox (Academic Press Australia) regarding publication of book; several copies of book reviews, and copy of publisher's brochure promoting the book
    • Dr. Paleg's Doctor of Science thesis: ‘Hormonal and environmental regulation of plant growth and development', The University of Adelaide: 1977

    Reprints by others:

    • Reprints and photocopies of articles by others were discarded, with the exception of:
      Ashby, M. K. 1983, ‘An investigation into the effect of proline, glycinebetaine and other osmoregulatory solutes on the polyethylene glycol dependant precipitation of DNA and lactate dehydrogenase', Hon thesis, University of London King's College, London.
    • Du Pont Co., ‘Designing with Du Pont CROFON fiber optics'

    Vikki Langton
    September 2013

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