Peter A. Peterson papers
Scope and Content
This collection (1938-2002, undated) includes biographical information, journal articles, published papers, news clippings, lecture notes, and photographs that document the career of Peter A. Peterson. Much of the materials detail his research into corn genetics and cytogenetics. Course materials provide evidence of how Peterson taught advanced genetics and plant breeding courses at Iowa State including many notes and handouts related to his course on cytogenetics. Research files include information on corn breeding and genetics projects, avocado research, grant proposals and reports, and international collaborations.
- 1940-2016, undated
Language of Materials
Open for research. This collection is stored offsite. Please contact the department at least 3 working days in advance.
Consult Special Collections and University Archives
Peter A. Peterson was born to Andrew Peterson and Paschalia Economon in Bristol, Connecticut, on March 17, 1925. He graduated with his B.S. (1947) in biology and chemistry from Tufts University after serving in the Navy at the Bethesda Naval Hospital during World War II. He earned his Ph.D. (1953) in genetics, botany and zoology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Following graduation, Peterson was hired as Assistant Geneticist (1953-1956) at the University of California Riverside. Peterson joined the faculty at Iowa State University as Assistant Professor (1956-1959) in the Department of Genetics. He was promoted to Associate Professor (1959-1968) with a joint appointment in the Departments of Genetics and Agronomy. He was named Professor (1968-2013). He was awarded emeritus status upon his retirement in 2013.
Peterson was widely known for his research in studying the transmission of genetic traits via corn. His lifelong research focused on transposable elements and by using operational test of his own devising to discover a number of transposable element systems such as the En system, Cuna (Cu), Cycler (Cy), and Ubiquitous (Uq).
Peterson was the author of numerous research articles on corn genetics as well as the book Maize Genetics and Breeding in the 20th Century (call number SB191 M2 P4175 1999). He received several awards including the Distinguished Iowa Scientist Award (1988) from the Iowa Academy of Science, the Burlington Northern Foundation Award for Career Achievement in Research (1992), and the National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders Award for Genetics and Plant Breeding (1994).
Peterson married Sally Rohrer on Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and together they had two children, Sara and Susan. Peterson died on September 7, 2017.
4.41 Linear Feet (10 document boxes and 1 half-document box)
Peter A. Peterson began as a geneticist and professor at Iowa State University in 1956. His research included genetics, genomes, cytogenetics, plant breeding, and maize. This collection contains biographical information, academic papers, course materials, and other materials related to his career at Iowa State.
This collection is organized into three series:
Series 1, Academic career, 1940-1999, undated (alphabetical)
Series 2, Publications, 1947-2002, undated (chronological)
Series 3, Research, 1938-2000, undated (chronological)
This collection is stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives at least 3 working days in advance.
- Agriculture - Corn - Breeding Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Agriculture - Plant breeding Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Course materials Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Genetics Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Iowa State University. Department of Agronomy
- Iowa State University. Department of Agronomy--Faculty Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Publications (documents) Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- Research (documents) Subject Source: Unspecified ingested source
- RS 9/9/69. Peter A. Peterson papers, 1940-2016, undated
- July 1, 2020
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note