Matthias Jakob Schleiden

Matthias Jakob Schleiden (German pronunciation: [maˈtiːas ˈjaːkɔp ˈʃlaɪ̯dn̩];[1][2] 5 April 1804 – 23 June 1881) was a German botanist and co-founder of cell theory, along with Theodor Schwann and Rudolf Virchow.[3]:387

Matthias Jakob Schleiden
PSM V22 D156 Matthias Jacob Schleiden
Matthias Jakob
Born5 April 1804
Died23 June 1881 (aged 77)
Alma materHeidelberg
Known forThe cell theory
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Jena, University of Dorpat
Author abbrev. (botany)Schleid.


Matthais Jacob Schleiden was born in Hamburg, Germany, on 5 April 1804. His father was the municipal physician of Hamburg. Schleiden pursued legal studies graduating in 1827. He then established a legal practice but after a period of emotional depression and an attempted suicide, he changed professions.

He studied natural science at the University of Göttingen in Göttingen, Germany, but transferred to the University of Berlin in 1835 to study plants. Johann Horkel, Schleiden's uncle, encouraged him to study plant embryology.[4]

He soon developed his love for botany into a full-time pursuit. Schleiden preferred to study plant structure under the microscope. As a professor of botany at the University of Jena, he wrote Contributions to our Knowledge of Phytogenesis (1838), in which he stated that all parts of the plant organism are composed of cells. Thus, Schleiden and Schwann became the first to formulate what was then an informal belief as a principle of biology equal in importance to the atomic theory of chemistry. He also recognized the importance of the cell nucleus, discovered in 1831 by the Scottish botanist Robert Brown,[5] and sensed its connection with cell division.

He became professor of botany at the University of Dorpat in 1863. He concluded that all plant parts are made of cells and that an embryonic plant organism arises from the one cell.

He died in Frankfurt am Main on 23 June 1881.[6]

Die Entwickelung der Meduse ("The Development of the Medusae"), in Schleiden's Das Meer


Schleiden was an early advocate of evolution. In a lecture on the "History of the Vegetable World" published in his book The Plant: A Biography (1848) was a passage that embraced the transmutation of species.[7] He was one of the first German biologists to accept Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. He has been described as a leading proponent of Darwinism in Germany.[8]

Selected publications


  1. ^ Dudenredaktion; Kleiner, Stefan; Knöbl, Ralf (2015) [First published 1962]. Das Aussprachewörterbuch [The Pronunciation Dictionary] (in German) (7th ed.). Berlin: Dudenverlag. pp. 481, 587, 764. ISBN 978-3-411-04067-4.
  2. ^ Krech, Eva-Maria; Stock, Eberhard; Hirschfeld, Ursula; Anders, Lutz Christian (2009). Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch [German Pronunciation Dictionary] (in German). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 621, 731, 905. ISBN 978-3-11-018202-6.
  3. ^ Garrison, Fielding Hudson (December 8, 2013). An Introduction to the History of Medicine, with Medical Chronology, Bibliographic Data and Test Questions - Primary Source Edition. Nabu Press. pp. 387–404, 416. ISBN 1295393166. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Matthias Jacob Schleiden (1804–1881) | The Embryo Project Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  5. ^ Trisha Creekmore. "The Science Channel :: 100 Greatest Discoveries: Biology". Discovery Communications. Archived from the original on 2006-10-24. Retrieved 2006-10-17.
  6. ^ Mathias Jacob Schleiden, Encyclopædia Britannica
  7. ^ "Matthias Jakob Schleiden (1804-1881)". The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.
  8. ^ Glick, Thomas F. (1988). The Comparative Reception of Darwinism. University of Chicago Press. p. 83. ISBN 0-226-29977-5
  9. ^ IPNI.  Schleid.

External links

1881 in Germany

Events from the year 1881 in Germany.

1881 in science

The year 1881 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.

Andrey Beketov

Andrey Nikolayevich Beketov Russian: Андрей Николаевич Бекетов, 8 December 1825, Penza Governorate, Imperial Russia, — 1 July 1902, Shakhmatovo, Moscow Governorate) was a prominent Russian botanist, an Honourable member of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences.Beketov, the Meritorious Professor of Saint Petersburg University (which he was the head of in 1876-1883) was also a famous pedagogue and lecturer; among his best-known students were Andrey Krasnov, Vladimir Vernadsky, Kliment Timiryazev and Ivan Shmalhausen. Beketov initiated the inception of the High Women's Courses which he was the head of until 1889 when they were reorganized, to be known later as the Bestuzhev Courses.

He edited the Works of Free Economical Society (for which he was for several years the secretary and, since 1891 its vice-president) and, in 1861—1863, the Russian Geographical Society Herald (Вестник Русского географического oбщества). Together with Khristofor Gobi he co-founded Scripta Botanica (Ботанические записки), the first ever Russian magazine on botany. In 1892-1897 he edited the botany section of the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary.In the early 1860s Beketov authored the first comprehensive Russian textbook on botany, followed in 1896 by the texbook on the geography of plants. He translated into Russian several seminal works by

Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle, August Grisebach, Matthias Jakob Schleiden and Thomas Henry Huxley.The renowned Siver Age poet Alexander Blok was his grandson.

The standard author abbreviation Bek. is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.

Cell (biology)

The cell (from Latin cella, meaning "small room") is the basic structural, functional, and biological unit of all known living organisms. A cell is the smallest unit of life. Cells are often called the "building blocks of life". The study of cells is called cell biology.

Cells consist of cytoplasm enclosed within a membrane, which contains many biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. Organisms can be classified as unicellular (consisting of a single cell; including bacteria) or multicellular (including plants and animals). While the number of cells in plants and animals varies from species to species, humans contain more than 10 trillion (1013) cells. Most plant and animal cells are visible only under a microscope, with dimensions between 1 and 100 micrometres.Cells were discovered by Robert Hooke in 1665, who named them for their resemblance to cells inhabited by Christian monks in a monastery. Cell theory, first developed in 1839 by Matthias Jakob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann, states that all organisms are composed of one or more cells, that cells are the fundamental unit of structure and function in all living organisms, and that all cells come from pre-existing cells. Cells emerged on Earth at least 3.5 billion years ago.

Cell biology

Cell biology (also called cytology, from the Greek κύτος, kytos, "vessel") is a branch of biology that studies the structure and function of the cell, which is the basic unit of life. Cell biology is concerned with the physiological properties, metabolic processes, signaling pathways, life cycle, chemical composition and interactions of the cell with their environment. This is done both on a microscopic and molecular level as it encompasses prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. Knowing the components of cells and how cells work is fundamental to all biological sciences; it is also essential for research in bio-medical fields such as cancer, and other diseases. Research in cell biology is closely related to genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology and cytochemistry .

Cell theory

In biology, cell theory is the historic scientific theory, now universally accepted, that living organisms are made up of cells, that they are the basic structural/organizational unit of all organisms, and that all cells come from pre-existing cells. Cells are the basic unit of structure in all organisms and also the basic unit of reproduction. With continual improvements made to microscopes over time, magnification technology advanced enough to discover cells in the 17th century. This discovery is largely attributed to Robert Hooke, and began the scientific study of cells, also known as cell biology. Over a century later, many debates about cells began amongst scientists. Most of these debates involved the nature of cellular regeneration, and the idea of cells as a fundamental unit of life. Cell theory was eventually formulated in 1839. This is usually credited to Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann. However, many other scientists like Rudolf Virchow contributed to the theory. It was an important step in the movement away from spontaneous generation.

The three tenets to the cell theory are as described below:

All living organisms are composed of one or more cells.

The cell is the basic unit of structure and organization in organisms.

Cells arise from pre-existing cells.The first of these tenets is disputed, as non-cellular entities such as viruses are sometimes considered life-forms.

Ernst Erhard Schmid

Ernst Erhard Friedrich Wilhelm Schmid (22 May 1815 in Hildburghausen – 16 February 1885 in Jena) was a German paleontologist. He was the son of law professor Karl Ernst Schmid (1774–1852).

He studied natural sciences at the universities of Jena and Vienna, receiving his doctorate in 1839. In 1843 he became an associate professor at Jena, where with Matthias Jakob Schleiden, he founded a physiological institute. At the institute he dealt with subjects that included mineralogy, geology, chemistry and physics. In 1856 he was appointed a professor of natural sciences at the University of Jena.In 1848 the ichthyopterygian species Tholodus schmidi was named in his honor by Christian Erich Hermann von Meyer.

Ernst Friedrich Apelt

Ernst Friedrich Apelt (3 March 1812 in Reichenau, Saxony – 27 October 1859 in Oppelsdorf, Upper Lusatia, Saxony) was a German philosopher and entrepreneur. He was a student of Jakob Friedrich Fries, succeeding him at the University of Jena. He was the principal contributor to the Abhandlungen der Fries'sche Schule, which he founded with Matthias Jakob Schleiden.He was also one of the early scholars of the life and work of Johannes Kepler, a precursor of Alexandre Koyré.

Gustav von Hüfner

Gustav von Hüfner (13 May 1840 in Köstritz – 14 March 1908 in Tübingen) was a German chemist.

From 1860 to 1865 he studied medicine at the University of Leipzig, and while a student, attended lectures given by biologists Karl Gegenbaur and Matthias Jakob Schleiden at the University of Jena. After graduation, he trained under physiologist Carl Ludwig and chemist Hermann Kolbe at Leipzig, and studied in the laboratory of Robert Bunsen at the University of Heidelberg. In 1869 he obtained his habilitation, and three years later, succeeded Felix Hoppe-Seyler at the University of Tübingen. In 1875, he was appointed a full professor of organic and physiological chemistry at the university.He is best known for his research involving blood chemistry. The term "Hüfner number" is defined as the amount of oxygen that can bind with one gram of hemoglobin when fully saturated. In 1894 Hüfner determined that a gram of hemoglobin could maximally bind 0.0598 millimoles (1.34mL) of oxygen gas.

Heinrich Hlasiwetz

Heinrich Hlasiwetz (April 7, 1825 – October 7, 1875) was an Austrian chemist born in Reichenberg, Bohemia.Son of a pharmacist, he studied at the University of Jena, where his instructors included Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner (1780-1849), Heinrich Wilhelm Ferdinand Wackenroder (1798-1854) and Matthias Jakob Schleiden (1804-1881). Later he studied under Josef Redtenbacher (1810–1870) in Prague. In 1848 he earned the diploma of Magister Pharmacia, and during the following year received his doctorate in chemistry.

In 1849 he began work as an assistant to Friedrich Rochleder (1819-1874), later becoming an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Innsbruck (1854). In 1867 he became a professor at the Vienna University of Technology, where from 1869 he represented general and analytical chemistry.

During his career he largely worked with resins, tannins and protein compounds. Hlasiwetz is remembered for his chemical analysis of quercitrin, phloroglucinol, resorcinol and creosote.

Hermann Schacht

Hermann Schacht (15 July 1814, in Ochsenwerder – 20 August 1864, in Bonn) was a German pharmacist and botanist, who specialized in the fields of plant anatomy and embryology.

Prior to 1847 he worked at pharmacies in Braunschweig, Hamburg, Emmerich, Aachen and Altona, where he worked closely with hepaticologist Carl Moritz Gottsche. In the meantime, he attended classes at the University of Jena (1841–42), where from 1847 he served as assistant to Matthias Jakob Schleiden.In 1850 he obtained his PhD from Jena, and subsequently moved to Berlin, where in 1853–60 he worked as a university lecturer. Because of health problems he spent two years in Madeira (1855–57), conducting investigations of the island's flora during his convalescence. From 1860 to 1864 he was a professor of botany and director of the botanical garden at the University of Bonn.In 1859 Gustav Karl Wilhelm Hermann Karsten named the plant genus Schachtia (family Rubiaceae) in his honor.

Johann Horkel

Johann Horkel (8 September 1769 in Burg auf Fehmarn – 15 November 1846 in Berlin) was a German physician and botanist.

From 1787 he studied medicine at the University of Halle, where in 1802 he was named an associate professor. From 1804 to 1810 he served as a full professor of medicine at Halle, afterwards relocating to Berlin, where he spent the rest of his career as a professor of plant physiology. In 1800/01 he was editor of the journal Archiv für die thierische Chemie, and for a period of time, was an editor of the Deutsches Archiv für die Physiologie.He was an uncle and a significant influence to the career of botanist Matthias Jakob Schleiden. The botanical genera Horkelia (Cham. & Schltdl.) and Horkeliella (Rydb.) commemorate his name, as does the fish species Rhinobatos horkelii (Brazilian guitarfish).

Julius Rudolph Theodor Vogel

Julius Rudolph Theodor Vogel (30 July 1812 – 17 December 1841) was a German botanist.

List of Tartu University people

This is a list of people associated with the University of Tartu at Tartu, Estonia.

List of botanists

This is a list of botanists who have Wikipedia articles, in alphabetical order by surname. The List of botanists by author abbreviation is mostly a list of plant taxonomists because an author receives a standard abbreviation only when that author originates a new plant name. Other botanists are listed here.


Matthias is a name derived from the Greek Ματθαίος, in origin similar to Matthew.

See also: All pages beginning with Matthias

Plant anatomy

Plant anatomy or phytotomy is the general term for the study of the internal structure of plants. Originally it included plant morphology, the description of the physical form and external structure of plants, but since the mid-20th century plant anatomy has been considered a separate field referring only to internal plant structure. Plant anatomy is now frequently investigated at the cellular level, and often involves the sectioning of tissues and microscopy.

Schleiden Medal

The Schleiden Medal is an award given by the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the National Academy of Germany, to honour outstanding achievements in the field of cellular biology. The award is named after botanist Matthias Jakob Schleiden.

Theodor Schwann

Theodor Schwann (German pronunciation: [ˈteːodoːɐ̯ ˈʃvan]; 7 December 1810 – 11 January 1882) was a German physician and physiologist. His most significant contribution to biology is considered to be the extension of cell theory to animals. Other contributions include the discovery of Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system, the discovery and study of pepsin, the discovery of the organic nature of yeast, and the invention of the term metabolism.

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