Van Niel, Cornelis Bernardus

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Van Niel, Cornelis Bernardus


Born Nov. 4, 1897, in Haarlem, the Netherlands. American microbiologist. Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

In 1922, Van Niel graduated from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where he worked before moving to the United States in 1928. Between 1929 and 1935 he was an assistant professor first at Stanford University, then at Princeton University. Van Niel received his professorship in 1935 and beginning in 1954 worked at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N. J. His studies have primarily been devoted to the physiology and taxonomy of propionic acid bacteria and of photosynthesizing bacteria.

Van Niel demonstrated that purple and green sulfur bacteria effect photosynthesis without liberating O2, since hydrogen sulfide or other reduced substrates, for example, thiosulfate, sulfur, organic compounds, or molecular hydrogen, are oxidized during the assimilation of CO2. He also formulated a general equation for the photosynthetic process in plants and bacteria.


In Russian translation:
Vklad mikrobov v biologiiu. Moscow, 1959. (Co-author, A. Kluyver.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.