The discovery of cell division

DEFINITION

Cell division is the process by which a cell divides into two or more cells. Cell division is the means of reproduction in organisms that reproduce asexually, as by fission or spore formation. In organsims that reproduce sexually, cell division is the source of all tissue growth and repair. The two main types of cell division are mitosis and meiosis[1].

DISCOVERY

The German botanist Hugo von Mohl discovered[2] cell division in 1835 in the cells of green algae (Cladophora glomerata) while trying to understand how cells multiply. Here are  a few of his original drawings of what he observed under the microscope (a cell division taking place can be seen on “Figure 1, c” and “Figure 2, a and b”; he notes that the dividing and divided cells contain chlorophyll):

Here is a photomicrograph[3] of Cladophora glomerata:

DISCOVERER

Here is a lithograph[4] of Hugo von Mohl:

1805-1872

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *