Jakob Mathias Schleiden, German botanist

Jakob Mathias Schleiden, German botanist

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Jakob Mathias Schleiden (1804-1881), German botanist and co-founder of the cell theory with his friend the German physiologist Theodor Schwann. Schleiden studied botany in three universities and graduated at Jena in 1831. Plant cells had been observed two centuries earlier by the English physicist Robert Hooke and others. Schleiden's studies convinced him that all plant or animal structures are composed of cells or their derivatives. He recognised the importance of the nucleus in cell division but believed wrongly that new cells were formed by budding from the surface of the nucleus.

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