Chemical Research on Plant Growth: A translation of Theodore by Théodore de Saussure, Jane F. Hill

By Théodore de Saussure, Jane F. Hill

Recherches Chimiques sur los angeles Végétation used to be a seminal paintings within the improvement of the knowledge of photosythesis and plant chemistry. the unique booklet, which was once the 1st concise summation of the fundamentals of plant nutrients, used to be a landmark in plant technological know-how. It was once two times translated into German throughout the 19th century, yet no English translation has been released. This translation will curiosity these within the plant, chemical, agricultural, and soil sciences, and the heritage of technological know-how, who locate English extra available than French or German and who desire to study extra concerning the early examine on photosynthesis and plant technology.

Nicholas-Théodore de Saussure, a Swiss plant physiologist and plant chemist, was once the final of the early pioneers of photosynthesis examine. This preliminary interval of analysis is mostly thought of to have started with Jan van Helmont within the early 17th century and Stephen Hales within the first a part of the eighteenth, then to became extra extreme with Joseph Priestley, Jan Ingen-Housz, and Jean Senebier in the course of the clinical Revolution of the mid-to-late eighteenth century. Nicholas-Théodore’s father, the recognized Swiss geologist, meteorologist, and Alpine explorer Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, have been an early convert to the recent chemical theories pioneered through Antoine Lavoisier within the overdue eighteenth century. Nicholas-Théodore, more youthful than his predecessors, had the whole good thing about this new procedure, which under pressure quantitative chemical tools. utilising those ways to vegetation, Nicholas-Théodore de Saussure played experiments that led him to significant insights into plant nutrients. His most crucial contributions have been the demonstration that water is part of plant dry topic; that vegetation receive their carbon from the carbon dioxide of the air, now not from carbonic acid dissolved within the soil water, as such a lot of his contemporaries believed; and that mineral components and nitrogen from the soil are necessary to plant progress. additional, he proven the relevant truth of plant breathing (the absorption of oxygen and emission of carbon dioxide); and photosynthesis (the decomposition of carbon dioxide and evolution of oxygen within the light). In Recherches Chimiques sur los angeles Végétation, de Saussure synthesized his personal examine findings with these of his predecessors, generating a pioneering paintings on plant meals.

within the centuries considering that Recherches Chimiques sur l. a. Végétation used to be released, luminaries in numerous branches of technology, together with plant biology, chemistry, and soil technological know-how, have continually praised it hugely. within the 19th century, famous botanist Alphonse de Candolle and both famous plant physiologist Julius von Sachs expressed nice admiration for it. even supposing de Saussure’s rules have been forgotten for a time, famed chemist Justus von Liebig, who invented synthetic fertilizer, rediscovered them within the 1840s and taken them to the eye of the rural neighborhood, stressing their significance for expanding crop yields.

within the 20th century, eminent photosynthesis researcher Eugene Rabinowitch defined Recherches Chimiques sur l. a. Végétation because the first smooth ebook on plant food. Historian of chemistry Henry Leicester referred to as the publication a vintage, noting that the 1st very important generalization approximately biochemistry within the 19th century got here from it. Plant physiologist P. E. Pilet said that the booklet laid the principles of a brand new technology, phytochemistry. Soil scientist E. Walter Russell attributed to de Saussure the quantitative experimental technique, which greater than the rest made smooth agricultural chemistry attainable. Chemist Leonard okay. Nash said that de Saussure introduced the reviews of plant food all started through Priestley, Ingen-Housz, and Senebier as regards to of entirety, completing the fundamental experimental paintings and supplying a powerful theoretical interpretation of the sector, and likewise spread out new vistas of test and idea.

A additional observe concerning the translation: This undertaking is greater than only a translation since it comprises an intensive creation in addition to notes that offer reasons for archaic terminology and different historical past fabric.

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Additional resources for Chemical Research on Plant Growth: A translation of Theodore de Saussure's Recherches chimiques sur la Vegetation

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Mémoires de l’Académie des sciences, 1784, pp. 593–608. (See Oeuvres de Lavoisier (1862) 2: 586–600. Imprimerie imperiale, Paris) Lavoisier A-L (1789) Traité élémentaire de chimie, présenté dans un ordre nouveau et d’après les découvertes modernes, 2 vols. Cuchet, Paris. (English translation, 1790, by Robert Kerr, as “Elements of chemistry”. Printed for William Creech, Edinburgh; reprinted 1965, Dover Publications, New York) Lavoisier A-L, de la Place PS (1780) Mémoire sur la chaleur. Mémoires de l’Académie des sciences, 1780, pp.

De Saussure’s second paper on plant physiology (de Saussure “fils” 1799), a study of the effects of oxygen on seed germination, laid the foundation for Chap. 1 of his book. In the late 1790s, Théodore again left Geneva, this time with his wife. The couple remained abroad for several years. In the spring of 1800, on his first trip to Paris, Théodore took courses from the noted French pharmacist and chemist Louis-Nicolas xxxviii Translator’s Introduction Vauquelin (1763–1829) and kept a journal (de Saussure 1800a) that provides information on his links to the world of Lavoisier (Robin and Blondel-Mégrelis 2001; Candaux 2007).

Printed for William Creech, Edinburgh; reprinted 1965, Dover Publications, New York) Lavoisier A-L, de la Place PS (1780) Mémoire sur la chaleur. Mémoires de l’Académie des sciences, 1780, pp. 355–408. (See Oeuvres de Lavoisier (1862) 2:283–333. Imprimerie impériale, Paris) Leicester HM (1956) The historical background of chemistry. Wiley, New York. (Reprinted 1971, Dover Publications, New York) Macaire (Macaire-Prinsep JF) (1845) Notice sur la vie et les écrits de Théodore de Saussure. Bibliothèque universelle de Genève, Nouvelle Série 57:102–139.

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