On the organs and manner of fecundation in orchideae and asclepiadeae.
Brown, Robert

Publisher Information: London: 1833.

Discovery of the Cell Nucleus

Brown, Robert (1773-1858). On the organs and manner of fecundation in Orchideae and Asclepiadeae. In Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 16, part III (1833): 685-745; 3 plates. 4to. 297 x 234 mm. Whole number, in original blue wrappers, spine label, spine repaired. Uncut and unopened. Boxed.

First Journal Edition. Discovery of the cell nucleus. Brown originally announced his discovery in a pamphlet printed for private distribution, titled "Observations on the Organs and Mode of Fecundation in Orchideae and Asclepiadeae" (1831); the pamphlet, issued in a small edition, is now quite scarce. The expanded journal edition of the paper includes Brown's "Additional observations on the mode of fecundation in Orchideae," which he read before the Linnean Society in June 1832.

In his paper Brown described a singular structure he had observed in the cells of orchideae,

"a single circular areola, generally somewhat more opake than the membrane of the cell . . . only one areola belongs to each cell. . . . This areola, or nucleus of the cell as perhaps it might be termed, is not confined to the epidermis, being also found not only in the pubescence of the surface particularly when jointed, as in Cypripedium, but in many cases in the parenchyma or internal cells of the tissue. . . . The nucleus of the cell is not confined to the Orchideae but is equally manifest in many other Monocotyledonous families; and I have even found it, hitherto however in very few cases, in the epidermis of Dicotyledonous plants" (pp. 710-12).

"A few earlier botanists evidently had observed the presence of this nucleus in some cells, as Brown himself points out, but he was the first specially to demonstrate its general occurrence in living cells and to give it the name 'nucleus'" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography). Garrison-Morton 109.

Book Id: 16476

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