Went, Frits W.

Went, Frits W. (Warmolt)

(1903–90) plant physiologist; born in Utrecht, Netherlands. He performed research in Java (1928–32), then came to the U.S.A. to join the California Institute of Technology (1933–58), where he codiscovered (with K. V. Thimann) the plant growth hormones known as auxins; he devoted 20 years of research to these substances. He invented the phytotron, a specialized greenhouse for investigations of the controlled effects of climate on plants. He became director of the Missouri Botanical Garden (1958–63), then was a professor at Washington University (St. Louis) (1963–65). He relocated to the University of Nevada: Reno (1965–85), where he made major contributions to studies of the environmental effects of volatile substances produced by desert plants.