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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

Read about biology on
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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