Takuma Tanada

Takuma Tanada
Born October 30, 1919
Residence Napa, Ca
Alma mater B.S., M.S., University of Hawaii, 1942, 1944 in Botany
Scientific career
Fields Botany, Photomorphogenesis

Takuma Akuma Tanada (born October 30, 1919)[1] is a Japanese-American plant biologist who made several discoveries related to the effects of light radiation on plants, including his discovery of the Tanada effect. He conducted research at the United States Department of Agriculture and in 2011 was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the United States, for his assistance to the U.S. military in World War II.[2]

Tanada's was born in Hawaii in 1919 to Japanese immigrants. Tanada attended the University of Hawaii studying Botany, and received a B.S. in 1942, and a M.S. in 1944.[3] Tanada and his brother Shigeo volunteered for the Army.[2][4] Tanada said he was rejected when he initially tried to join the military after the attack on Pearl Harbor, but was drafted later in part due to being fluent in Japanese.[2] He enlisted on June 21, 1944.[4] He translated top-secret Japanese communications for the Military Intelligence Service and was promoted to technical sergeant.[2]

After World War II ended, Tanada became an administrator to import and manufacture fertilizer.[2] Tanada was assigned to the United States Department of Agriculture, where he published works related to the effects of red and far-red light on plant roots. The photomorphogenic processes he discovered in relation to light spectrum on plant root adhesion became known as the Tanada effect.[5] He later discovered that the electric charge causing roots to stick to glass is generated by the trace element boron.[6]

Tanada married Toshiyo Shimizu on February 21, 1947 in Yokohama, Japan.[7][8]

Tanada retired to Napa with his wife in 1983 to be close to Juliet Tanada, their daughter, an optometry teacher at Berkeley. His wife died in 1986. Although retired, Tanada still tends to a large fruit and vegetable garden in Browns Valley.[2]

Key publications

  • Tanada, T. (1968). "A rapid photoreversible response of barley root tips in the presence of 3-indoleacetic Acid". Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland. 59: 376–380. doi:10.1073/pnas.59.2.376. PMC 224682. PMID 16591610.
  • Tanada, T. (1968). "Substances essential for a red, far-red light reversible attachment of mung bean root tips to glass". United States Soils Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland 20705. 43: 2070–2071. doi:10.1104/pp.43.12.2070. PMC 1087129. PMID 16657012.
  • Tanada, T. (1972). "Phytochrome Control of Another Phytochrome-mediated Process". United States Soils Laboratory, Soil and Water Conservation Research Division, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland. 49: 560–562. doi:10.1104/pp.49.4.560. PMC 366005. PMID 16658001.
  • Tanada, T. (1974). "Boron-induced Bioelectric Field Change in Mung Bean Hypocotyl". Light and Plant Growth Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland. 53: 775–776. doi:10.1104/pp.53.5.775. PMC 541444. PMID 16658788.


  1. ^ Who's who Among Asian Americans, 1994-95. Gale Research. 1994. p. 575. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f COURTNEY, KEVIN. "WWII veteran receives nation's top civilian honor". Napa Valley Register. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  3. ^ "UIHistories Project Repository". uihistories.library.illinois.edu. Retrieved 2016-02-08.
  4. ^ a b "Statewide County HI Archives Military Records.....Army Enlistees Names TAKAHASHI - TANAKA WWII - Enlistment". USGenWeb Archives. USGenWeb Archives. January 28, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  5. ^ Sinha, Rajiv Kumar (2004-01-01). Modern Plant Physiology. CRC Press. p. 457. ISBN 9780849317149.
  6. ^ Tanada, T (1978). "Boron – key element in the actions of Phytochrome and gravity?". Planta. 143: 111. doi:10.1007/bf00389059.
  7. ^ Consular Reports of Marriage, 1910–1949. Series ARC ID: 2555709 - A1, Entry 3001. General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59. National Archives at Washington D.C.
  8. ^ National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Marriage Reports in State Department Decimal Files, 1910-1949; Record Group: 59, General Records of the Department of State, 1763 - 2002; Series ARC ID: 2555709; Series MLR Number: A1, Entry 3001; Series Box Number: 530; File Number:133

Other Languages