Sachs, Julius Von 1832-1897

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Julius Sachs, the outstanding German botanist and plant physiologist, was born in Breslau in 1837. He left school in 1851 and became assistant to the physiologist J.E. Purkinje at Prague. In 1856 he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and established himself as Privatdozent for plant physiology in the same university. In 1859 he was appointed physiological assistant to the Agricultural Academy at Tharandt in Saxony and in 1861 he became a staff member at the Agricultural Academy at Pappelsdorf near Bonn. He became Professor of Botany in the University of Freiburg in Breisgau. In 1868 he took over the chair in Botany at the University of Wursburg which he occupied until his death on May 29, 1897.

Sachs was especially distinguished for his part in the development of plant physiology which marked the latter half of the 19th Century.

He is noted for the following:

1. Laying the foundation of knowledge of micro chemical methods and the morphological and physiological details of germination.

2. Redevelopment of the method of culture of plants first used by J. Woodword in 1699 and applied this to the problems of plant nutrition.

3. Appearance of starch grains in plants are the first visible product of photosynthesis.

4. Suggestion that substances other than carbohydrates such as growth regulating substances may regulate flowering in plants.

Sachs was one of the greatest teachers of the 19th Century and had a great influence on British and American botany and horticulture. His works are:

Handbuch der Experimental physiologie der Pflanzen (1865)
Lehrbuch der Botanik (1868) English edition (1875) (1882)
Vorlesungen uber Pflanzenphysiologie (1882) English edition (1887)
Geschichte der Botanik (1875) English edition (1890)