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Encyclopedia > Hugo de Vries
Hugo de Vries, ca. 1907
Hugo de Vries, ca. 1907

Hugo Marie de Vries (Feb 16, 1848, Haarlem - May 21, 1935, Lunteren) was a Dutch botanist and one of the first geneticists. He is known chiefly for suggesting the concept of genes, rediscovering Gregor Mendel's laws of heredity in the 1890s, and for developing a mutation theory of evolution. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 415 × 599 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,285 × 1,856 pixels, file size: 390 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Hugo de Vries, 1848-1935. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 415 × 599 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,285 × 1,856 pixels, file size: 390 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Hugo de Vries, 1848-1935. ... February 16 is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Coordinates: , Country Province Area (2006)  - Municipality 32. ... is the 141st day of the year (142nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... Ede is a municipality and a town in the eastern Netherlands. ... Botany is the scientific study of plant life. ... A geneticist is a scientist who studies genetics, the science of heredity and variation of organisms. ... For other uses, see Gene (disambiguation). ... “Mendel” redirects here. ... Mutationism refers to the concept briefly held by some in the early 20th century — but now discredited — that mutations are the main mechanism of evolution. ...

Contents

Early life

De Vries was born in 1848, the oldest son of Gerrit de Vries (1818-1900), a lawyer in Haarlem, and Maria Everardina Reuvens (1823-1914), daughter of a professor in archaeology at Leiden University. His father became a member of the Dutch Council of State in 1862 and moved his family over to The Hague. From an early age Hugo showed much interest in botany, winning several prizes for his herbariums while attending gymnasium in Haarlem and The Hague. Leiden University, located in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands[1]. It is a member of the Coimbra Group, the Europaeum and the League of European Research Universities. ... In the Netherlands, the Council of State is a constitutionally established advisory body to the government which consists of members of the royal family and Crown-appointed members generally having political, commercial, diplomatic, or military experience. ... Coordinates: , Country Netherlands Province South Holland Area (2006)  - Municipality 98. ... In Botany, a herbarium is a collection of preserved plants or plant parts, mainly in a dried form. ... A gymnasium (pronounced with or, in Swedish, as opposed to ) is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English Grammar Schools and U.S. High Schools. ...


In 1866 he enrolled at the Leiden University to major in botany. He enthusiastically took part in W.F.R. Suringar's classes and excursions, but was mostly drawn to the experimental botany outlined in Julius Sachs' 'Lehrbuch der Botanik' from 1868. He was also deeply impressed by Charles Darwin's evolution theory, despite Suringar's skepticism. He wrote a dissertation on the effect of heat on plant roots, including several statements by Darwin to provoke his professor, and graduated in 1870. Julius von Sachs (October 2, 1832 - May 29, 1897), German botanist, was born at Breslau. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... 1870 (MDCCCLXX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Early career

After a short period of teaching, De Vries left in September 1870 to take classes in chemistry and physics at the Heidelberg University and work in the lab of Wilhelm Hofmeister. In the second semester of that school year he joined the lab of the esteemed Julius Sachs in Wurzburg to study plant growth. From September 1871 until 1875 he taught botany, zoology, and geology at schools in Amsterdam. During each vacation he went back to the lab in Heidelberg to continue his research. The Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg (German Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg; also known as simply University of Heidelberg) was established in the town of Heidelberg in the Rhineland in 1386. ... Wilhelm Friedrich Benedikt Hofmeister (18 May 1824 to 12 January 1877) was a German self-taught botanist. ... Würzburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany. ... For other uses, see Amsterdam (disambiguation). ...


In 1875 the Prussian Ministery of Agriculture offered De Vries a position as professor at the still to be constructed Landwirtschaftliche Hochschule ("Royal Agricultural College") in Berlin. In anticipation, he moved back to Wurzburg, where he studied agricultural crops and collaborated with Sachs. By 1877, Berlin's College was still only a plan, and he briefly took up a position teaching at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. The same he year he was offered a position as lecturer in plant physiology at the newly founded University of Amsterdam. He was made adjunct professor already in 1878 and full professor on his birthday in 1881, partially to keep him from moving to the Berlin College, which finally opened that year. De Vries was also professor and director of Amsterdam's Botanical Institute and Garden from 1885 to 1918. 1875 (MDCCCLXXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... The Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg is located in the German cities of Halle, Saxony-Anhalt and Wittenberg. ... From Athenaeum Illustre to University In January 1632 two internationally acclaimed scientists, Caspar Barlaeus and Gerardus Vossius, held their inaugural speech in the Athenaeum Illustre - the illustrious school - which had its seat in the 14th-century Agnietenkapel. ...


Definition of the gene

In 1889, De Vries published his book Intracellular Pangenesis [1], in which, based on a modified version of Charles Darwin's theory of Pangenesis of 1868, he postulated that different characters have different hereditary carriers. He specifically postulated that inheritance of specific traits in organisms comes in particles. He called these units pangenes, a term 20 years later to be shortened to genes by Wilhelm Johannsen. For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... Pangenesis was Charles Darwins hypothetical mechanism for heredity. ... For other uses, see Gene (disambiguation). ... Wilhelm Ludvig Johannsen (February 3, 1857 - November 11, 1927) was a Danish botanist. ...


Rediscovery of genetics

Hugo de Vries in the 1890s
Hugo de Vries in the 1890s

To support his theory of pangenes, which was not widely noticed at the time, De Vries conducted a series of experiments hybridising varieties of plants in the 1890s and he discovered new forms among a display of the evening primrose (Oenothera lamarckiana) growing wild in a waste meadow. His experiments led to the same conclusions as Mendel and confirmed his hypothesis: that inheritance of specific traits in organisms comes in particles. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Evening Primrose was a television musical written in 1966 by Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman for ABC Televisions Stage 67. ...


He also speculated that genes could cross the species barrier, with the same gene being responsible for hairiness in two different species of flower. Although generally true in a sense (orthologous genes, inherited from a common ancestor of both species, tend to stay responsible for similar phenotypes), De Vries meant a physical cross between species. This actually also happens, though very rarely in higher organisms (see horizontal gene transfer). In biology, homology is any similarity between structures that is due to their shared ancestry. ... Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), also Lateral gene transfer (LGT), is any process in which an organism transfers genetic material to another cell that is not its offspring. ...


In the late 1890s, de Vries became aware of Mendel's obscure paper of forty years earlier, and he altered some of his terminology to match. When he published the results of his experiments in the French journal Comtes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences in 1900, he neglected to mention Mendel's work, but after criticism by Carl Correns , he conceded Mendel's priority. Carl Erich Correns (September 10, 1864, in Munich - February 14, 1933) was a German botanist and geneticist, who is notable primarily for his independent discovery of the principles of heredity, and for his rediscovery of Gregor Mendels earlier paper on that subject, which he achieved simultaneously but independent of...


Correns and Erich von Tschermak now share credits for the rediscovery of Mendel’s laws. It may be noteworthy that Correns was a student of Nägeli, a renowned botanist with whom Mendel corresponded about his work with peas but who failed to understand how significant Mendel's work was. Quirkily, Tschermak was a grandson of a man who taught Mendel botany during his student days in Vienna. Erich Tschermak-Seysenegg Erich von Tschermak-Seysenegg (November 15, 1871 – October 11, 1962) was an Austrian agronomist. ... C.W.Nägeli Karl Wilhelm von Nägeli (March 27, 1817 - May 11, 1891) was a Swiss botanist. ...


Mutation theory

De Vries developed his own theory of evolution known as the mutation theory (a form of saltationism), which posited that instead of Darwinian gradualism, new species could arise in single jumps. However it was later discovered that much of what De Vries was describing in terms of his evidence had nothing to do with what is now known as genetic mutation. In his time, though, De Vries's theory was one of the chief contenders for the explanation of how evolution worked, until the modern evolutionary synthesis became the dominant model in the 1930s. Mutationism refers to the concept briefly held by some in the early 20th century — but now discredited — that mutations are the main mechanism of evolution. ... In biology, saltation (from Latin, saltus, leap) is a sudden change from one generation to the next, that is large, or very large, in comparison with the usual variation of an organism. ... This article is about mutation in biology, for other meanings see: mutation (disambiguation). ... The modern evolutionary synthesis refers to a set of ideas from several biological specialities that were brought together to form a unified theory of evolution accepted by the great majority of working biologists. ...


Honors and retirement

In May 1905, De Vries was elected Foreign Member of the Royal Society. He was awarded the Darwin Medal in 1906 and the Linnean Medal in 1929. For other uses, see Royal Society (disambiguation). ... The Darwin Medal is given by the Royal Society on even years to a biologist or a husband and wife team of biologists. ... The Linnean Medal (formerly referred to as the Gold Medal) of the Linnean Society of London was established in 1888, and is awarded annually to alternately a botanist or a zoologist or (as has been common since 1958) to one of each in the same year. ...


He retired in 1918 from the University of Amsterdam and withdrew to his estate "De Boeckhorst" in Lunteren where he had large experimental gardens. He continued his studies with new forms until his death in 1935. Ede is a municipality and a town in the eastern Netherlands. ...


Books

His best known works are:

  • Intracellular Pangenesis (1889)
  • The Mutation Theory German edition (1900-03) English edition (1910-11)
  • Species and Varieties: Their Origin by Mutation (1905)
  • Plant Breeding (1907) German translation (1908)

References

Matthew (Matt) Ridley (born February 7, 1958 at Newcastle upon Tyne) (not to be confused with Mark Ridley) is an English science writer. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
AllRefer.com - Hugo De Vries (Botany, Biography) - Encyclopedia (261 words)
Hugo De Vries[hU´gO du vrEs] Pronunciation Key, 1848–1935, Dutch botanist.
He opened a new approach to the study of evolution by using the experimental method to investigate the processes of evolution.
De Vries's work on osmosis is also important; he coined the term isotonic.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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