Matthias Jakob Schleiden
|Died||23 June 1881 77) (aged|
|Known for|| Cell theory |
Coining the term 'cytoblast'
|Institutions||University of Jena, University of Dorpat|
|Author abbrev. (botany)||Schleid.|
Matthias Jakob Schleiden (German: [maˈtiːas ˈjaːkɔp ˈʃlaɪ̯dn̩] ; 1804–1881) was a German botanist and co-founder of cell theory, along with Theodor Schwann and Rudolf Virchow.
Matthias Jakob Schleiden was born in Hamburg on 5 April 1804. His father was the municipal physician of Hamburg. Schleiden pursued legal studies graduating in 1827. He then established a legal practice but after a period of emotional depression and an attempted suicide, he changed professions.
He studied natural science at the University of Göttingen in Göttingen, Germany, but transferred to the University of Berlin in 1835 to study plants. Johann Horkel, Schleiden's uncle, encouraged him to study plant embryology.
He soon developed his love for botany into a full-time pursuit. Schleiden preferred to study plant structure under the microscope. As a professor of botany at the University of Jena, he wrote Contributions to our Knowledge of Phytogenesis (1838), in which he stated that all plants are composed of cells. Thus, Schleiden and Schwann became the first to formulate what was then an informal belief as a principle of biology equal in importance to the atomic theory of chemistry. He also recognized the importance of the cell nucleus, discovered in 1831 by the Scottish botanist Robert Brown,and sensed its connection with cell division.
He became professor of botany at the University of Dorpat in 1863. He concluded that all plant parts are made of cells and that an embryonic plant organism arises from the one cell.
He died in Frankfurt am Main on 23 June 1881.
Schleiden was an early advocate of evolution. In a lecture on the "History of the Vegetable World" published in his book Die Pflanze und ihr Leben ("The Plant: A Biography") (1848) was a passage that embraced the transmutation of species.He was one of the first German biologists to accept Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. He has been described as a leading proponent of Darwinism in Germany.
With Die Pflanze und ihr Leben, reprinted six times by 1864, and his Studien: Populäre Vorträge ("Studies: Popular Lectures"), both written in a way that was accessible to lay readers, Schleiden contributed to creating a momentum for popularizing science in Germany.
In biology, cell theory is the historic scientific theory, now universally accepted, that living organisms are made up of cells, that they are the basic structural/organizational unit of all organisms, and that all cells come from pre-existing cells. Cells are the basic unit of structure in all organisms and also the basic unit of reproduction.
Carl Wilhelm von Nägeli was a Swiss botanist. He studied cell division and pollination but became known as the man who discouraged Gregor Mendel from further work on genetics. He rejected natural selection as a mechanism of evolution, favouring orthogenesis driven by a supposed "inner perfecting principle".
Theodor Schwann was a German physician and physiologist. His most significant contribution to biology is considered to be the extension of cell theory to animals. Other contributions include the discovery of Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system, the discovery and study of pepsin, the discovery of the organic nature of yeast, and the invention of the term metabolism.
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