René Marcelle (December 30, 1931–December 18, 2011), the first editor-in-chief of Photosynthesis Research

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This tribute honors the first editor-in-chief of Photosynthesis Research, René Marcelle the Belgian plant physiologist who, with publishers in The Netherlands, launched the journal in 1980. Here, we present a glimpse of René Marcelle’s early life, his education and research, as well as his editorial work for the journal and other conferences in plant physiology. He worked on control of photosynthesis, both the biological and environmental aspects, as well as on crassulacean acid metabolism. He is best remembered as a kind-hearted and humane editor.

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    T. Akazawa (Japan); J. S. Boyer (USA); J. W. Bradbeer (UK); J. Coombs (UK); J. Duranton (France); H. S. Egneus (Sweden); A. Faludi-Daniel (Hungary); J. C. Goedheer (The Netherlands); Z. Gromet-Elhanan (Israel); D. O. Hall (UK); S. Katoh (Japan); G. J. Kelly (Germany/Australia); R. A. Kennedy (USA); A. J. Keys (UK); W. M. Laetsch (USA); J. Lavorel (France); R. Leech (UK); H. K. Lichtenthaler (Germany); M. Losada (Spain); M. M. Ludlow (Australia); M. Mousseau (France); W. L. Ogren (USA); S. P. Robinson (USA/Australia); N. Terry (USA); l. P. Ting (USA); K. J. Treharne (UK); F. E. Wielgolaski (Norway); A. Wild (Germany); and M.-R. Wolwerz (Belgium).


  1. Charnel AR, Marcelle RD, Eloy JF (1982) Cuticular retention in vitro and localization of Zn after a foliar application of zinc-containing fungicides. J Amer Soc Hort Sci 107:804–807

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  2. Govindjee, Barber J, Cramer W, Goedheer JC, Lavorel J, Marcelle R, Zilinskas B (eds) (1986) Excitation and electron transfer in photosynthesis—a special issue dedicated to Warren Lee Butler. Photosynth Res 10: 147–518; reprinted as a book, in 1987, by Martinus Nijhoff Publishers (then Kluwer Academic Publishers, now Springer), Dordrecht

  3. Govindjee, Šesták Z, Peters WR (2002) The early history of photosynthetica, photosynthesis research, and their publishers. Photosynthetica 40(1):1–11

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  4. Marcelle R (1970) Sur l’absence d’une relation simple entre le type d’échange du CO2 et l’induction de la floraison chez Bryophyllum daigremontianum. In: Cellular and molecular aspects of floral induction. G Berbier (ed) pp 243–251 Longman Group Ltd, London

  5. Marcelle R (1975a) Effect of photoperiod on the CO2 and O2 exchanges in leaves of Bryophyllum daigremontianumn (Berger). In: Marcelle R (ed) Environmental biological control of photosynthesis. The Hague, Diepenbeek

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  6. Marcelle R (ed) (1975b) Environmental and biological control of photosynthesis: proceedings of a conference held at ‘Limburgs Universitair Centrum’, Diepenbeek pp 26–30 August 1974. Dr W. Junk, The Hague

  7. Marcelle R (ed) (1982) Effects of stress on photosynthesis. Dr. W. Jung Publ., The Hague

  8. Marcelle R (ed) (1984) Flowering and fruit set in fruit trees. ISHS Acta Horticuturae 149, St-Truiden, Belgium (ISBN: 978-90-66052-71-0); available in ActaHortCD-rom format only (

  9. Marcelle R, Oben G (1973) Effects of some growth regulators on the CO2 exchanges of leaves. Acta Horticulturae 34:55–58

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  10. Marcelle R, Sironval C (1963) Effect of gibberellic acid on flowering of apple trees. Nature 197:405

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  11. Marcelle R, Clijsters H, Oben G, Bronchart R and Michel JM (1974) Effects of CCC and GA on photosynthesis of primary bean leaves. In: Science Council of Japan and IPGSA (eds) plant growth substances, proceedings of the 8th international conference of plant growth substances, pp 1169–1174. Hirokawa Publishing Company, Tokyo

  12. Marcelle R, Clijsters H, van Poucke M (eds) (1979) Photosynthesis and plant development, Martinus Nihhoff/now Springer

  13. Marcelle R, Clijsters H and van Poucke M (eds) (1983) Effects of stress on photosynthesis: proceedings of a conference held at the Limburgs Universitair Centrum, Diepenbeek, pp 22–27 August 1982. M Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk, The Hague

  14. Marcelle R, Clijsters H, M. van Poucke M (eds.) (1986) Biological Control of Photosynthesis. Martinus Nijhoff/now Springer

  15. Oben G, Marcelle R (1975) The effects of CCC and GA on some biochemical and photochemical activities of primary leaves of bean plants. In: Marcelle R (ed) Environmental and biological control of photosynthesis. Dr W Junk, The Hague, pp 211–216

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  16. Simon P, Marcelle R (1983) Net photosynthesis and water status of apple seedlings under developing drought conditions: effects of fungicide pre-treatment. In: Clijsters H, van Poucke M (eds) R Marcelle. Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W Junk, The Hague, pp 133–139

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  17. Sironval C, Verly WG, Marcelle R (1961) Radioisotopic study of chlorophyll accumulation in soybean leaves, in the conditions of a transfer from one daylength to another (transfer-effect). Physiol Plantarum 14:303–309

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  18. van Assche F, Clijsters H, Marcelle R (1979) Photosynthesis in Phaseolus vulgaris L, as influenced by supra-optimal zinc nutrition. In: Marcelle R et al (eds) Photosynthesis and plant development. Junk, The Hague, pp 175–184

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We thank Christophe Marcelle, René’s son, and C. Barry Osmond for reading and editing this manuscript, and for providing information on René Marcelle’s publications.

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Correspondence to Govindjee.

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Govindjee, Marcelle, D. René Marcelle (December 30, 1931–December 18, 2011), the first editor-in-chief of Photosynthesis Research. Photosynth Res 129, 13–15 (2016).

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  • Belgium
  • Book reviews
  • Bryophyllum
  • Horticulture
  • Photosynthesis Research
  • C. Sironval