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Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919): The German Darwin and his impact on modern biology

The year 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Ernst Haeckel, a German zoologist, artist, and philosopher of science, who defended and supplemented Charles Darwin’s system of theories regarding the mechanisms of biological evolution. We briefly recapitulate Haeckel’s remarkable career and reproduce the Laudatio read by the President of the Linnean Society of London (1...

Peter Sitte (1929–2015): a theistic cell biologist

Editorial First Online: 17 July 2017 Received: 03 July 2017 Accepted: 03 July 2017 Handling Editor: Ulrich Kutschera Some time ago, the first author of this tribute to the German biologist

Salinity Stiffens the Epidermal Cell Walls of Salt-Stressed Maize Leaves: Is the Epidermis Growth-Restricting?

As a result of salt (NaCl)-stress, sensitive varieties of maize (Zea mays L.) respond with a strong inhibition of organ growth. The reduction of leaf elongation investigated here has several causes, including a modification of the mechanical properties of the cell wall. Among the various tissues that form the leaf, the epidermis plays a special role in controlling organ growth...

Do mudskippers and lungfishes elucidate the early evolution of four-limbed vertebrates?

BackgroundRecently, the origin of four-limbed vertebrates (tetrapods) was re-assessed, based on footprints and trackways that were made by early land animals almost 400 million years (my) ago. That is 18 my earlier than the oldest known tetrapod body fossils, such as Acanthostega and Ichthyostega from Greenland, and 10 my older than the earliest ‘tetrapodomorph fishes...

Brassinosteroid action in flowering plants: a Darwinian perspective

The year 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's first botanical book, on the fertilization of orchids (1862), wherein he described pollen grains and outlined his evolutionary principles with respect to plant research. Five decades later, the growth-promoting effect of extracts of Orchid pollen on coleoptile elongation was documented. These studies...