Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Enzymology: History of

  • Stephane Tirard
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_5261-3


In 1833, the French biologists A. Payen (1795–1871) and J. F. Persoz (1805–1868) isolated a malt-soluble ferment able to digest the amide and called it diastase. In 1878, the German physiologist Wilhelm Kühne (1837–1900) named the contents of this digestive juice as enzyme. During the second part of the nineteenth century, there was an active debate between Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) and Justus Freiherr von Liebig (1803–1873) about the cause of fermentation. Pasteur argued that fermentation is a process of microscopic living entities, like yeast, and Liebig argued that fermentation is a spontaneous decomposition of matter.

In 1897, the German chemistry Edüard Buchner (1860–1917) made an in vitro fermentation of sugars in an acellular fraction of yeast. Some authors said that this result probably constituted the beginning of biochemistry science. A few years later, in 1903, the French-Russian physical chemist Victor Henry (1872–1940) stated that all enzymes are proteins.



Physical Chemist Nineteenth Century Bioorganic Chemistry Important Development Digestive Juice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculté des Sciences et des Techniques de NantesCentre François Viète d’Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques EA 1161NantesFrance