Franz Unger

Unger, Franz


Born Nov. 30, 1800, in Der Gute Amthof; died Feb. 13, 1870, in Graz. Austrian botanist. Professor at the universities of Graz (1835) and Vienna (1849–66).

Unger made a great contribution to the development of plant morphology, anatomy, embryology, and physiology. He also did important work in paleobotany. He discovered zoospores in algae and was one of the first to observe cell division. On the basis of paleobotanical data, Unger developed theories concerning the transformation of species and the evolutionary development of the plant world; his theories predate those of Darwin (1852).


Versuch einer Geschichte der Pflanzenwelt. Vienna, 1852.


Reyer, A. Leben und Wirken des Naturhistorikers Franz Unger. Graz, 1871.
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Para la epoca en que Mendel llego a la Universidad de Viena, el Instituto Botanico estaba constituido por dos departamentos: anatomia vegetal, dirigido por el profesor Eduard Fenzl, y fisiologia vegetal, dirigido por el profesor Franz Unger.
Franz Unger y Gregor Mendel se encontraban en el mismo momento historico en el que Karl von Nageli, descubridor de los cromosomas, proponia que las especies no podian existir en completo reposo, sino que deberian estar en accion perenne, en transicion de una a la otra.
Among his teachers was Franz Unger, who had studied fossil plants and the variability of cultivated plants, and who surmised that new plants evolved by combining simple elements within their cells, although he had no concrete evidence of the existence of these elements.