Lorene Morrow Kelley Endowments
Lorene Morrow Kelley funded 7 endowments in the School of Biological Sciences, including the Marie Betzner Morrow Centennial Chair in honor of her sister, and the Mary Betzner Morrow Centennial Chair in Microbiology in honor of her mother. Many activities in the School of Biological Sciences and the Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology are possible only through Mrs. Kelley’s generosity.
The following biography of Marie Betzner Morrow is from The University of Texas Faculty Council, and was prepared by Orville Wyss, C.E. Lankford, and V.T. Schuhardt.
Marie Betzner Morrow
Dr. Marie Morrow, Associate Professor of Microbiology at The University of Texas at Austin, died in her sleep on December 24, 1971 while visiting her sister Lorene Morrow Kelley at Edinburg, Texas. She had worked in her laboratory until a few days before her death but she had for the last year of her life suffered from a malignancy of the esophagus and was an out-patient at M.D. Anderson Hospital.
Marie Betzner Morrow was born in Bunker Hill, Indiana, August 22, 1895, the daughter of Warren Morrow and Mary Betzner Morrow. During her early childhood the family moved to Oklahoma and later to Mercedes, Texas where the family established a home in that pioneer community. After completing high school in Mercedes, as many scholastically gifted young women of her time, she took an examination for a teaching certificate and taught in public schools in the “Valley” for a number of years. In 1918 she entered the summer session at The University of Texas at Austin, returning each summer until 1923 when she began attendance at the long session. She received her B.A. with the highest honors in 1926, her M.A. in 1927, and her Ph.D. in 1932 all from the Department of Botany and Bacteriology at The University of Texas at Austin. She came under the influence of the microbiologist I.M. Lewis who directed her M.A. thesis and Dr. O.B. Williams with whom she published her first scientific paper. Her research for her thesis revealed that the microorganisms in the soil under the pine forest of Bastrop county differed markedly from those found in neighboring oak forests. One of the major differences was the predominance of mold in the former, a discovery which she documented and explained in one of the early issues of the journal entitled Ecology. The publication of this work brought her to the attention of Dr. Charles Thom, Chief of the Bureau of Chemistry and Soils of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who gave her encouragement and guidance in her pursuit of soil molds. Together they worked out procedures for studying associations between soil microbes and plant roots. They published what must have been one of the early contributions on the biological control of plant diseased by the inoculation of seeds with harmless molds in order to prevent the root rot disease of cotton.
She served on the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin for forty-five years beginning as an instructor from 1927-1939, then as an Assistant Professor from 1939-1945 in the Department of Botany and Bacteriology. When those two departments split she stayed with the Botany group as an Associate Professor in Botany from 1945-1957. In her early years on the University faculty she taught courses in general botany and plant morphology and wrote Laboratory Manuals for those courses. Her research work was supported by the Bureau of Plant Industry of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and she developed an interest and competence in the microbes of the soil and air and especially in the molds pathogenic to plants. She developed graduate and undergraduate courses on Pathogenic Fungi and on Methods in Mycology which were given first in the Department of Botany and later in the Department of Microbiology. Beginning in 1932 she became associated with a group of Texas allergists in a study on the occurrence of allergy as associated with mold spores in the air; in this effort which was the central theme of the remainder of her scientific career she worked especially closely with Homer E. Prince, M.D., now of Crockett, Texas. These cooperating scientists, the University teacher with an active research program and the physician, were the nucleus of a highly productive scientific team whose contributions to the scientific literature on mold allergens and whose presentations at scientific meetings set the standards in this field for 30 years.
Her skill in culturing and identifying the molds led to useful maps of the geographical distribution of the molds at various seasons. From these mold isolates, extracts were prepared that permitted the physicians associated with the project to test sensitivities in their patients and bring relief to many by desensitization procedures. While the production of these preparations (bearing the identification MMP for Morrow, Meyer and Prince) has long since passed from Dr. Morrow’s laboratory to the pharmaceutical industry, she continued to monitor the cultures, to keep extensive records on the results and to seek improvements in the processes until the time of her death. She had a prime role in preparing the brochures describing these products and their use. She participated in instructional courses stressing fundamentals of mold allergens, she attended local and national meetings and kept up an extensive correspondence with scientists all over the world. In 1950 a research grant from Sigma Xi supplemented by funds from the University Research Initiative permitted her to spend a semester as a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan. She was part of a team from the Department of Microbiology at The University of Texas at Austin that carried on a survey on the microbiology of the Antarctic. Her authorship and co-authorship of over 50 articles in the scientific journals of her field brought her international repute. For many years she was Fellow Scientific of the American College of Allergy, Chairman of the Aerobiology Committee of that college, an honor awarded to few non-physicians by Colleges of the American Medical Association. When the Association of Allergists for Mycological Investigation was organized in 1938 she became a member of the Board and served as the aerobiologist and mycologist for this physician-oriented group. In 1957 she transferred from the Department of Botany to the Department of Microbiology where she was a teacher and research worker until she retired from teaching at the age of 70. For the next 5 years she continued as a University faculty member on modified service, devoting her full time to her research program.
She was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Mycological Society, the Botanical Society, the International Association of Allergists, the College of Allergists, and the American Society for Microbiology. She was active in the Women’s Honorary Chemical Society, Iota Sigma Pi, and in the other honorary scientific groups on the campus such as Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi. She was eager to share her special knowledge with neophyte and experts alike.
Marie Betzner Morrow, Publications
Dr. Morrow took her Master’s thesis under the direction of I.M. Lewis, entitled: “A correlation study of microflora and pH Value of soils from typical plant associations.” (June, 1927)
Her Ph.D. thesis, supervised under the direction of G.W. Goldsmith, was entitled: “Critical studies of soil and vegetation relations.” (June, 1932)
Other publications include the following:
(with O.B. Williams). Bacterial destruction of acetyl-methyl-carbinol. Journal of Bacteriology 16: 43-48 (1928).
Correlation between plant communities and the reaction and microflora of the soil in South Central Texas. Ecology 12: 497-507 (1931).
The soil fungi of the pine forest. Mycologia 24: 398-401 (1932).
(with Homer Prince and S.A. Selle) Molds in the etiology of asthma and hay fever: a preliminary report. Texas State Journal of Medicine 30: 754-762 (1937).
(with Ester S. Cuyler) A Laboratory Manual of General Botany. First Printing. University Litho. Publishers, Norman, Oklahoma. 1933 (copyright).
(with Homer Prince) Molds in the etiology of asthma and hay fever with special reference to the Costal areas of Texas. Southern Medical Journal 30: 754-762 (1937).
(with Charles Thom) Experiments with mold inoculation in cotton root rot areas. Proceedings - Soil Science Society of America 1: 223 (1937).
Root inhabiting fungi in Texas blackland soil: Introducing a method for studying the microenvironment of the root. Proceedings of the Texas Academy of Science 22: 18 (1938).
(with James L. Roberts et al.) Establishement and spread of molds and bacteria on cotton roots by seed and seedling inoculation. Journal of Agriculture Research 56: 197-207 (1938).
A Laboratory Manual of General Botany and Plant Biology. Revised. John S. Swift Co., St. Louis, Mo. 1939 (Copyright). Third printing. Fourth printing. 1944.
(with H.E. Prince) Mold fungi in the etiology of respiratory allergic disease: A survey of air-borne molds. Proceedings of the Third International Congress for Microbiology (1939).
(with Ester S. Cuyler) A Laboratory Manual of Botany and Plant Biology. St. Louis, John S. Swift Col, 1940 (third printing and revised edition).
A research program on molds in the etiology of respiratory allergic disease. Proceedings of the Texas Academy of Science 23: 22 (1940).
(with E.P. Lowe and H.E. Prince) Mold fungi in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. I. A survey of air-borne molds. Journal of Allergy 13: 215-226 (1942).
(with E.P. Lowe) Molds in relation to asthma and vasomotor rhinitis. Mycologia 35: 638-653 (1943).
(with H.E. Prince) Mold fungi in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. III. Immunological studies with mold extracts. I. Preparation of experimental extracts. Annals of Allergy 2: 483-488 (1944).
(with Sr. M. Rachaner) Fungus slide cultures: new methods. Proceedings and transactions of the Texas Academy of Science 27: 114-116 (1944).
(with C.W. Lewis) The use of soil as a stock culture medium for filamentious fungi. Proceedings and transactions of the Texas Academy of Science 29: 122 (1946).
(with Homer E. Prince) Mold fungi in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. V. Further studies in mold extracts. Annals of Allergy 5: 434-438 (1947).
Mold fungi in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. VII. Further survey studies. Annals of Allergy 5: 442-454 (1947).
(with Harry D. Theirs) Air borne plant pathogens. Proceedings and transactions of the Texas Academy of Science 30: 313-316 (1946).
(with H.E. Prince et al.) Mold fungi in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. XII. Further studies with mold extracts. Annals of Allergy 7: 597-609 (1949).
(with H.E. Prince et al.) Mold fungi in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. IX. Further studies with mold extracts. Annals of Allergy 7: 301-305 (1949).
(with H.D. Theirs) Mold fungi in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. XI. Phytopathogenic fungi in aerobiological populations. Annals of Allergy 7: 592-596 (1949).
(with E.C. Wheeler) Mold fungi in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. XIV. Fungi in aerobiological populations. The fungus flora of Tillandisia species (Ball and Spanish Moss). Annals of Allergy 9: 761-764 (1950).
(with H.E. Prince) Mold fungi in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. XV. Selection of molds for therapy. Annals of Allergy 12: 253-260 (1954).
(with H.E. Prince and M.A. Kaplan) Fungi and bacteria in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. XVII. Comparison of the allergenicity of a sporulating and non-sporulating alternaria. Annals of Allergy 14: 15-17 (1956).
(with H.E. Prince, et al.) Fungi and bacteria in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. XIX. Bacteria, actinomycetes, and yeasts: Atmospheric studies including a dust storm. Annals of Allergy 14: 21-29 (1956).
(with Homer Prince) Mold allergy in pediatric practice. Fungi and bacteria in the etiology of respiratory diseases. In Current Problems in Allergy and Immunology, w.Kaufmann (ed.), S. Karger, Basel, Switzerland, 1960, 922-940.
(with H.E. Prince) Fungi and Bacteria in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. XX. Mold allergy in pediatric practice. International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology 15: 1-3, 122-140 (1959).
(with M.E. Webb) Dust and mold allergies. Hollister=Stier Labs., Los Angeles, 1960, 8 pp., Illus.
(with Homer E. Prince) Molds and bacteria in the etiology of respiratory allergic diseases. XXI. Studies with mold extracts produced from cultures grown in modified synthetic media. Annals of Allergy (1960).
(with S. Epstein and H.E. Prince) Patch tests with the ether-soluble fractions of mold pellicles. Journal of Allergy 28: 313-315 (1957).
(with H.E. Prince and G.H. Meyer). Studies with mold extracts produced from cultures grown in modified synthetic media. Annals of Allergy 19: 259-267 (1961).
(with G.H. Meyer, et al.) Studies with dust extracts. Annals of Allergy 19: 1389-1398 (1961).
(with H.E. Prince) Practical considerations in mold allergy. Transactions of the Americal Society of Opthalmologic and Otolaryngologic Allergy 2: 1-12 (1962).
(with H.E. Prince) Practical approach to mold allergy. West Virginia Medical Journal 58: 129-135 (1962).
(with H.E. Prince) Management of mold allergy. Modern Medicine 133-135 (1962).
(with H.E. Prince) Fall harvesting and frosts and the increase of air-borne molds. The Allergic Patient 3: 4 (1962).
(with H.E. Prince) Factors affecting mold growth and dissemination. Review of Allergy and Applied Immunology 16: 476-478 (1962).
(with G.H. Meyer and O. Wyss) Viable microorganisms in a fifty-year-old yeast preparation in Antarctica. Nature 196: 4854 (1962).
(with G.H. Meyer, O. Wyss et al.) Antarctica: the microbiology of an unfrozen saline pond. Science 138: 1103-1140 (1962).
(with George H. Meyer and Orville Wyss) Viable organisms from feces and foodstuffs from early Antarctic expeditions. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 9: 163-167 (1963).
(with George H. Meyer and J.W. Argabrite) Allergic bronchial asthma and pulmonary infection due to Aspergillus fumigatus treated by injections of emulsified allergen. Annals of Allergy 21: 583-587 (1963).
(with H.E. Prince) Symposium – Etiological factors in allergic diseases, inhalants: molds. Proceedings of the 19th Annual Graduate Instructors Course, American College of Allergists. New York, March 24-26, 1963.
(with H.E. Prince) Mold Allergy in Clinical Practice. The New Physician 12: 266-269 (1963).
(with H.E. Prince) Etiological factors in allergic diseases: molds. Annals of Allergy 21: 471-473 (1963).
(with H.E. Prince and G.H. Meyer) Molds in occupational environments as causative factors in inhalant allergic diseases. A report of two cases. Annals of Allergy 21: 688-692 (1964).
(with G.H. Meyer and H.E. Prince) A summary of air-borne mold surveys. Annals of Allergy 22: 575-587 (1964).
(with G.H. Meyer and Orville Wyss) Bacteria, fungi and other biota in the vicinity of Mirmyn Observatory. Antarctic Journal of the United States 11: 248-251 (1967).
(with H.E. Prince) A logical approach to mold allergy. Annals of Allergy 27: 79-86 (1969).
(with H.E. Prince) Comparative skin tests with two stemphylium species. Annals of Allergy 29: 531-534 (1971).
(with H.E. Prince) Skin reaction patterns to dematiaceous mold allergens. Annals of Allergy 29: 535-538 (1971).