The New International Encyclopædia/Pringsheim, Nathanael

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Edition of 1905.  See also Nathanael Pringsheim on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

PRINGSHEIM, prīngs′hīm, Nathanael (1823-94). A German botanist, born at Wziesko, near Landsberg, Silesia. For a time he studied medicine, associated himself with the Liberal political movement, and then turned definitely to natural science, in which cryptogamic botany soon became his specialty. After studying at the universities of Breslau, Leipzig, Berlin, and Paris, he submitted, at Berlin, an essay Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Achlya prolifera and became a lecturer there. As a result of his essays Grundlinien einer Theorie der Pflanzenzelle (1854) and Ueber die Befruchtung und Keimung der Algen und das Wesen des Zeugungsaktes (1855-57), he was chosen in 1858 a member of the Royal Academy of Scientists. In 1857 he founded the Jahrbuch für wissenschaftliche Botanik, which he edited up to the time of his death. He was professor of botany at Jena from 1864 to 1868 and then returned to his lectureship at Berlin, but he had little interest in teaching and devoted himself almost entirely to research. In 1882 he founded and became the first president of the German Botanical Society. Pringsheim, Thuret, and Bornet are regarded as the founders of the scientific study of the algæ, and the German was one of the first investigators to prove the existence of a sexual process in this kind of vegetation. During the last twenty years of his life his attention was directed more to plant physiology than to the morphological questions in which he won his greatest successes. He made extensive researches in the effect of light on plants and developed a new, though not wholly satisfactory, theory of the function of chlorophyll. He was one of the foremost cryptogamic botanists of the nineteenth century. Among his works which were published in four volumes at Jena in 1895-96, are the following: Beiträge zur Morpholoqie der Meeresalgen (1862); Ueber die Embryobildung der Gefässkryptogamen und das Wachstum von Salvinia natans (1863); Ueber Paarung von Schwärmsporen (1869); Weitere Nachträge zur Morphologie und Systematik der Saprolegniaceen (1873); Untersuchungen über das Chlorophyll (1874).