Discovering Virology From Beijerinck To Hyperlinks

July 01, 1998

ST. PAUL, Minn., July 1, 1998 -- One hundred years ago, Professor M.W. Beijerinck at the Technical University of Delft, Netherlands discovered what he, at the time, referred to as "contagious living fluid." Beijerinck's observations, confirmed during the following 40 years, are now recognized as the initial discovery of tobacco mosaic virus and the beginning of virology, an active area of research by plant, animal and human scientists.

Today, the American Phytopathological Society (APS) commemorates, through its feature home page at, the 100th anniversary of the discovery of tobacco mosaic virus with hyperlinks to the historical research of Beijerinck, articles featuring the discovery, a photo gallery of associated images and links to related sites.

The virus Professor Beijerinck discovered, tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), has been studied intensely since it's beginnings 100 years ago. "In the 1960s and 1970s, TMV was a key component in the shift to molecular work in virology, particularly with regard to the understanding of genetic information and the biological role of virus encoded proteins," says Karen-Beth G. Scholthof, faculty member at Texas A&M University and APS member. "TMV continues to be in the forefront of plant virology, generating new concepts and findings even today."

Research on TMV is bound to play a leading role in the development of fundamental concepts in virology well into the future. For more information on Professor Beijerinck, TMV or information on the TMV Symposium planned to commemorate a century of virology, link to APS's homepage at during the month of July.

The American Phytopathological Society is a professional scientific organization dedicated to the study and control of plant disease with more than 5,000 members worldwide.

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