Folke K. Skoog


Folke Karl Skoog (July 15, 1908 – February 15, 2001) was a Swedish-born American plant physiologist who was a pioneer in the field of plant growth regulators, particularly cytokinins. Skoog was a recipient of the National Medal of Science 1991.[1][2]

Born in Halland, Sweden, Skoog emigrated to the United States during a trip to California in 1925, and was naturalized as a citizen almost a decade later. He competed, and finished sixth in heat 2, in the 1500 meter race during the 1932 Summer Olympics.[3] In 1936, he received his PhD in biology from Caltech for his work done with auxin, a plant hormone.

Skoog was a student of Dennis Robert Hoagland, and his professional career advanced significantly with his arrival at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1947. Carlos O. Miller discovered kinetin in 1954,[4] and benzyladenine and related compounds were later synthesized in Skoog's lab.

In 1962, Skoog and Toshio Murashige published what is probably the best-known paper in plant tissue culture; in a fruitless attempt to discover a yet-unknown plant growth regulator in tobacco juice for his doctoral thesis, Murashige and Skoog instead developed a greatly improved salt base for the sterile culture of tobacco. Now referred to as Murashige and Skoog medium, the final paper (Murashige, T. and Skoog, F. (1962) A revised medium for rapid growth and bioassays with tobacco tissue cultures. Physiol Plant 18: 100-127) is one of the most often-cited papers in biology.[5] Now 50 years after the work, M&S salt base remains an essential component in plant tissue culture.

In 1970, Skoog was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


  1. ^ Peter V. Minorsky (April 2001). "Tribute to Folke Skoog". Plant Physiology. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ Folke K. Skoog on National Science Foundation.
  3. ^ Folke Skoog Archived October 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine on
  4. ^ "Richard M. Amasino | Faculty | Biochemistry | UW-Madison" (PDF).
  5. ^ Richard Van Noorden, Brendan Maher and Regina Nuzzo (29 October 2014). "The top 100 papers". Nature. Nature News. 514 (7524): 550–553. Bibcode:2014Natur.514..550V. doi:10.1038/514550a. PMID 25355343. S2CID 4466906.