Ahead of His Time: Wilhelm Pfeffer, Early Advances in Plant by Erwin Bunning, Hermut Wilhelm Pfeffer

By Erwin Bunning, Hermut Wilhelm Pfeffer

This biography examines the existence and paintings of Wilhelm Pfeffer (1845-1920), a pioneer of contemporary experimental biology who expected a lot during this box that's now taken without any consideration. The booklet indicates Pfeffer as a instructor and author with extensive study pursuits, incisive experimental talents, and a questing brain. Dr H.Wilhelm Pfeffer, grandson of Wilhelm Pfeffer, presents the interpretation for this English variation.

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Today, we still must accept the statement by Sibaoka: "... "22 Recent studies give some interesting new leads. The basic flows of ions in plants have been analysed, and the results show a certain parallel with the results of the studies on the effect of stimuli in animal cells. This would seem to support the objections against Pfeffer's idea about a difference between plant movements and the movements of muscles. However, the modern ion flow studies deal with a different dimension than the one Pfeffer dealt with in his studies of molecular-sized plasma membranes.

Pfeffer did not only postulate the existence of a plasma membrane, but he also tried to prove his theory through experiments. The one objection he continued to run into was that these were pathological phenomena related to the dying of the cell. This argument continued even after de Vries came forward with more convincing experiments about the existence of the inner plasma membrane (he called it tonoplast) which separates the protoplast from the vacuole. It was not until after 1930, but before the use of the electron-microscope, that advanced experimental proof was finally available for the theses of Pfeffer and de Vries.

Pfeffer brought the concept of the micelle even closer to that of the macromolecule: "There is no reason why .. micelles should not reach a visible size . ). e) Only a Laboratory Botanist? Pfeffer performed his duties as Ordinarius [full professor] of Botany fully and conscientiously, in spite of his special interest in cell physiology and molecular biology. Many 22 Pharmacy - Chemistry - Botany ... Fig. 2 Extract from a letter of June 19,1885 written by Pfeffer to the President of the University of Tubingen concerning the building of a greenhouse (the scientific purpose and the aesthetic considerations are pointed out).

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