Ferdinand Cohn

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Cohn, Ferdinand

(fĕr`dĕnänt kōn), 1828–98, German botanist. He is considered a founder of the science of bacteriology. From his early studies of microscopic life he developed theories of the bacterial causes of infectious disease and recognized bacteria as plants. He aided Robert KochKoch, Robert
, 1843–1910, German bacteriologist. He studied at Göttingen under Jacob Henle. As a country practitioner in Wollstein, Posen (now Wolsztyn, Poland), he devoted much time to microscopic studies of bacteria, for which he devised not only a method of
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 in preparing Koch's famous work on anthrax. Cohn's writings cover such diverse subjects as fungi, algae, insect epidemics, and plant diseases.

Cohn, Ferdinand


Born Jan. 24, 1828, in Breslau, now Wroclaw, Poland; died there June 25, 1898. German botanist and bacteriologist.

Cohn graduated from the university in Breslau and became a professor there in 1859. His chief works were on the morphology, developmental history, and taxonomy of algae and fungi. Cohn was the first to include bacteria among plants. He collaborated with Robert Koch in studying anthrax. He founded the journal Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen (1870).


Rosen, F. “F. Cohn.” Berichte der Deutschen Botanischen Gesellschaft, 1899, ch. 17, pp. 172–202 (with bibliography).