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Julius von Sachs

1832 - 1897

Julius von Sachs

Julius von Sachs was a German botanist who was a pioneer of plant physiology.

  • Nationality
  • German

  • Subject
  • Biology

  • Fields
  • Botany, photosynthesis, plant physiology

  • Posts
  • Professor of Botany at the Poppelsdorf Agricultural Institute (near Bonn), 1861 - 1867.

    Professor of Botany at W├╝rzburg University, 1868 - 1897

    Member of the Bavarian Science Academy (Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften), 1874 - 1897.

    Foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1885.

  • Publications
  • Sachs was a prolific writer, and produced more than 12 books which had enormous influence on the world of botany. Amongst these were:

    Handbuch der Experimentalphysiologie, 1865 (Handbook of Experimental Physiology).

    Lehrbuch der Botanik, 1868 (Textbook of Botany).

    Vorlesungen uber Pflanzenphysiologie, 1882 (Lectures on Plant Physiology).

    Geschichte der Botanik, 1875 (History of Botany).

  • Theories
  • Cell physiology, germination

    Branching of roots

    Explanation of photosynthesis and plant development.

  • Experiments/Discoveries
  • Sachs developed the 'Auxanometer', an instrument for measuring the rate of plant growth by means of a pulley which amplifies the change in height of a plant.

    Discovery and proof of starch. Sachs showed that a leaf deprived of light does not develop starch, by using iodine which colours starch.

    Water culture methods and investigation of nutrition

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Auxanometer, invented by Julius von Sachs, to measure plant growth

Sachs is synonymous with the development of plant physiology in the second half of the 19th century. A brilliant experimentalist as well as theoretician, teacher and author, his contributions are unequalled to our understanding of plant growth, chloroplasts, photosynthesis and experimental techniques.






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