In the 1920s, the seeds of the Society were sown by plant physiologists R.B. Harvey, Charles Shull, Burton Livingston, William Crocker, and J.B. Overton. Proceeds from a $20,000 endowment funded society activities. Initial membership was reported at 104, and dues were $1 annually. Then named the American Society of Plant Physiologists, our mission was to promote the growth and development of plant biology, to encourage and publish research in plant biology, and to promote the interests and growth of plant scientists in general. Our first annual meeting was held in Kansas City, Missouri.

In January 1926, Plant Physiology began publication and is one of the world’s oldest and most well-respected plant science journals. In 1989, The Plant Cell began publication and within three years of publication was ranked first in impact factor among journals publishing primary research in the plant sciences.

We were renamed the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) in 2001. Over the past decades, the Society has evolved and expanded to provide a forum for molecular and cellular biology as well as to serve the basic interests of and to promote the advancement of plant science.

View our 90th-anniversary video

History of the American Society of Plant Physiologists

by J. B. Hanson

Chapter 1: Origin of the Society, 1923-1924

Chapter 2: Getting Under Way, 1925-1930

Chapter 3: Depression, War, and Dr. Shull, 1931-1945

Chapter 4: Post-War Growth, 1945-1962

Chapter 5: Post-Sputnik Boom and Decline, 1963-1985