citrous fruit

Herbert John Webber

Herbert John Webber (December 27, 1865January 18, 1946) was an American plant physiologist who was born in Lawton, Michigan and grew up on a farm in Marshalltown, Iowa, originally wanting to be a lawyer. In 1889 he graduated from the University of Nebraska. For the United States Department of Agriculture he investigated orange diseases in Florida (1893-97) and from 1889 to 1907 had charge of the department's plant-breeding investigations. He served as professor of experimental plant biology at Cornell (1907-08), where subsequently he was acting director (1909-10 and professor of plant breeding (1910-12) in the New York State Department of Agriculture. In 1912 he went to the University of California to be director of the Citrus Experiment Station, dean of the Graduate School of Tropical Agriculture, and professor of plant breeding. With Swingle he originated citranges, a hardy citrous fruit, by hybridization. He retired from active service in 1936.

Herbert J. Webber coined the word “clone” in 1903 and was the first to use it to describe a colony of organisms derived asexually from a single progenitor. Webber’s contribution to “a more exact expression to our thoughts” found quick acceptance among scientists.

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