Coupon Accepted Successfully!


Development Of Cytology


Many scientists have contributed to the development of cytology. The pioneers are Robert Hooke, Anton Van Leeuwenhoek, Schielden and Schwann.

  • Anton Van Leewenhoek was the first to observe free cells, such as bacteria, protozoa, red blood cells (RBCs), sperms, etc. He is said to have constructed 400 microscopes. Basically, all his microscopes consisted of a single biconvex lens and were called simple microscopes.
  • Robert Hooke (1665) developed a microscope using two lenses for achieving greater magnification. He used compound microscope to examine thin slices of cork from the bark of an oak tree. He observed that the cork was composed of tiny, hollow boxes similar to honey comb for which he coined the term cellulae (cell) in his bookMicrographia.
  • A significant discovery made by Robert Brown, in 1831, was the presence of a small sphere within the cells of orchid roots. This spherical body was later named as nucleus and was thought to be of common occurrence in the cells.
  • Hugo Von Mohl (1838–1846) and Johannes Purkinje (1839) named the jelly-like substance as protoplastHuxley described protoplasm as the physical basis of life.
  • In 1830s, two German scientists, Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann, were able to view many different organisms with microscopes and draw some important conclusions. Schleiden used a microscope to observe plants and concluded that all plants are composed of cells. Schwann made similar observations about animal cells. Their combined views led to the formulation of the cell theory. This theory, however, did not explain as to how the new cells were formed. An important extension of cell theory—all living cells arise from pre-existing cells—took a few more years to appear.
  • Rudolf Virchow, in 1855, was the first to explain that the cells divide and new cells are formed from the pre-existing cells. Later, Nageli, in 1846, and Rudolf Virchow, in 1855, modified the hypothesis of Schleiden and Schwann to give the cell theory a final shape. However, it was Louis Pasteur (1862) whose experiment successfully established that life originates from pre-existing life.
  • Robert Brown discovered nucleus.
  • Hugo von Mohl explained the significance of protoplasm.
  • Fredrich Miescher discovered DNA.
  • Edward Strasburger gave the term cytoplasm and nucleoplasm.
  • Walter Fleming coined the word ‘chromatin’.
  • Van Benden discovered centrosome.
  • Waldeyer used the word ‘chromosome’.
  • Camillo Golgi discovered and named Golgi Complex.
  • Farmer and Moore called reduction division as meiosis.
  • Clande and Palade discovered ribosome.
  • K.R. Porter discovered endoplasmic reticulum in a cell.
  • G.E. Pallad described mitochondria.
  • Robertson gave unit membrane.
  • Singer and Nicolson proposed fluid mosaic model of plasma membrane.

Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name