The Society for In Vitro Biology established the Fellow Award to recognize outstanding professionals who have made significant contributions to the field of in vitro biology and demonstrated service to the Society.  The Society for In Vitro Biology honored Dr. Jeffrey Adelberg and Dr. Neal Stewart with Fellow Awards at the 2019 In Vitro Biology Meeting in Tampa, FL.  This issue of the In Vitro Report will highlight Dr. Jeffrey Adelberg.  Dr. Neal Stewart will be highlighted in a future issue of the In Vitro Report. 

2019 SIVB Fellow Award – Jeffery Adelberg

Jeffrey Adelberg (left) accepting the 2019 Fellow Award from Plant Biotechnology Chair, Randall Niedz (right).

Jeffrey Adelberg (left) accepting the 2019 Fellow Award from Plant Biotechnology Chair, Randall Niedz (right).

Dr. Jeffery Adelberg became an SIVB Fellow at the 2019 Meeting in Tampa.  Jeff is an active SIVB member and has actively participated in the annual national meetings for over 25 years. He has contributed numerous presentations and convened and organized plenary, symposia, and workshops. He has served SIVB by providing numerous ad hoc reviews of manuscripts submitted to the society’s journal, In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology – Plant, and has served as an Associate Editor of the journal since 2014.

Jeff is a Professor of Horticulture in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences of Clemson University where he has advised undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.  He has taught plant tissue culture for more than twenty years, and dozens of graduate students have been exposed to his intensive training.

Dr. Adelberg’s research is primarily in in vitro plant biology. His major contributions relate to tissue culture processes and methods that facilitate research in in vitro plant biology and its use in commercial production. His research covers the entire range of the micropropagation process from initiation to rooting to the ex vitro establishment of in vitro-derived plants in the greenhouse. He has studied a wide variety of plant species for cross-commodity applications including crop and non-crop, woody and herbaceous, monocot and dicot, and model and recalcitrant.  He has contributed deeply to the development and understanding of liquid culture systems and the associated bioreactor systems required, including the development of systems suitable for commercial in vitro plant propagation. The availability of water forms the basis of his research. He has articulated the fundamental principles of water and solutes in tissue culture systems, including solute transfer and interfacial kinetics, particularly sucrose, in aqueous liquid and agar systems. He has illustrated the difference between pressure (osmotic and matric) and mass flow (hydraulic conductance), and the implications of non-equilibrium conditions over the dimensions of space and time. In practical terms, he explains that water is most available in the freshly made culture medium. As the plant grows larger, the medium dries. Large plants at the end of the culture period have a greater demand for water and yet water is becoming less available, and therefore nutrients are becoming less available. This is batch culture, the type of culture usually used for micropropagation. A consequence of batch culture is that any nutrient, and more often water, can become limiting during the batch culture cycle. Since 1992, Dr. Adelberg’s research has demonstrated these concepts; liquid medium provides an environment for fed-batch culture where water and nutrients are provided regularly, resulting in in vitro plants with increased and improved growth. This is how greenhouse, nursery, and field crops are grown.

Dr. Adelberg has utilized modern design of experiments to study the multifactor relationships in these systems and on a broad range of responses – greenhouse and nursery growth, phytochemical products, and most recently, efficiencies in transformation biology. This is an important contribution because these systems are extremely complex and not suitable for single-factor experiments. He has quantified water-use as a component in media formulation, and the many non-nutrient factors to improve the process have been included.

Jeff Adelberg combines high professionalism and integrity with an extremely approachable, helpful, and humorous personality. The result is that he is extremely effective in communicating his work and assisting others in the field. It is our pleasure to recognize Dr. Adelberg’s as an SIVB Fellow.


Submitted by Randy Niedz and Barbara Reed

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