, Volume 249, Issue 4, pp 1163–1172 | Cite as

Eduard Strasburger (1844–1912): founder of modern plant cell biology

  • Dieter VolkmannEmail author
  • František Baluška
  • Diedrik Menzel
Review Article


Eduard Strasburger, director of the Botany Institute and the Botanical Garden at the University of Bonn from 1881 to 1912, was one of the most admirable scientists in the field of plant biology, not just as the founder of modern plant cell biology but in addition as an excellent teacher who strongly believed in “education through science.” He contributed to plant cell biology by discovering the discrete stages of karyokinesis and cytokinesis in algae and higher plants, describing cytoplasmic streaming in different systems, and reporting on the growth of the pollen tube into the embryo sac and guidance of the tube by synergides. Strasburger raised many problems which are hot spots in recent plant cell biology, e.g., structure and function of the plasmodesmata in relation to phloem loading (Strasburger cells) and signaling, mechanisms of cell plate formation, vesicle trafficking as a basis for most important developmental processes, and signaling related to fertilization.


Eduard Strasburger Cell polarity Cytokinesis Cytoplasmic streaming Fertilization Karyokinesis Plant cell biology Strasburger cells 



This paper was presented as an invited lecture at the 5th Conference of the Polish Society of Experimental Plant Biology. It served as introduction to the session “E. Strasburger Day—Cellular Level” which was organized by Profs. Beata Zagórska-Marek (Wrocław University, Poland) and Przemysław Wojtaszek (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland).

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dieter Volkmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • František Baluška
    • 1
  • Diedrik Menzel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Cellular and Molecular Botany (IZMB)University of BonnBonnGermany

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