Ferdinand Julius Cohn (24 January 1828 – 25 June 1898) was a German
biologist. He is one of the founders of modern bacteriology and
Ferdinand J. Cohn was born in the Jewish quarter of
Breslau in the
Province of Silesia
Province of Silesia (which is now Wroclaw, Poland). His
father, Issak Cohn, was a successful merchant and manufacturer. At the
age of 10 Ferdinand suffered hearing impairment (for an unknown
reason). Starting at age 16 he studied botany under Heinrich Goppert
at the University of Breslau. Due to Cohn's Jewish background he was
prevented from taking the final degree examinations at
Breslau.[dubious – discuss] He then moved to the University
of Berlin. At age 19 in 1847 he received a degree in botany at Berlin.
He remained studying botany for another couple of years in Berlin,
where he came in contact with many of the top scientists of his time.
In 1849 he returned to the University of
Breslau and he remained at
that university for the rest of his career as a teacher and
researcher. On his initial return to
Breslau in his early twenties,
his father had bought for him a large and expensive microscope made by
Simon Plössl. This microscope, which the University of
most universities did not have, was Ferdinand Cohn's main research
tool in the 1850s. In the 1850s he studied the growth and division of
plant cells. In 1855 he produced papers on the sexuality of
Sphaeroplea annulina and later Volvox globator. In the 1860s he
studied plant physiology in several different aspects. From 1870
onward he mostly studied bacteria. He established the use of sterile
culture mediums and rediscovered the botanical garden of Lorenz Scholz
von Rosenau in Breslau. He published over 150 research reports during
his lifetime. The University of
Breslau became an innovative center
for plant physiology and microbiology while he was there.
Cohn was the first to classify algae as plants, and to define what
distinguishes them from green plants. His classification of bacteria
into four groups based on shape (sphericals, short rods, threads, and
spirals) is still in use today. Among other things Cohn is remembered
for being the first to show that
Bacillus can change from a vegetative
state to an endospore state when subjected to an environment
deleterious to the vegetative state.
In 1885 he received the Leeuwenhoek Medal.
The standard author abbreviation Cohn is used to indicate this person
as the author when citing a botanical name.
^ a b Chung, King-Thom. Ferdinand Julius Cohn (1828-1898): Pioneer of
Bacteriology. Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Sciences,
The University of Memphis.
^ a b Drews, Gerhart (1999). "Ferdinand Cohn, a founder of modern
microbiology" (PDF). ASM News. 65 (8): 547–552. Archived from the
original (PDF) on 2017-07-13.
Ferdinand Cohn Facts. Biography.yourdictionary.com (2014-06-20).
Retrieved on 2014-06-29.
^ IPNI. Cohn.
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Jewish Encyclopedia entry for Ferdinand Julius Cohn
Ferdinand Cohn in the Encyclopedia of World Biography, published by
Gale Group (2010).
ISNI: 0000 0001 0979 3199
BNF: cb146262992 (data)