De Vries, Hugo 1848-1935

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Hugo De Vries was a Dutch botanist best known for his studies on mutations. He was one of the three scientists who independently rediscovered and confirmed the laws of heredity as presented by Gregor Mendel.

De Vries was educated at the Universities of Leiden, Heidelberg and Wruzburg. He became a professor of botany at the University of Amsterdam in 1878.

He discovered new forms among a display of Evening Primrose Oenothera lamarcklana growing wild in a waste meadow. This led him to believe that evolution might be studied by a new experimental method. This new method is considered his greatest contribution to science and resulted in a new approach to evolution and a new epoch in its history. The name "mutation" was given to his new method of producing new species and varieties (cultivars) which he showed to arise unexpectedly.

He retired in 1918 from the University of Amsterdam but continued his studies with new forms. He died on May 21, 1935.

His best known works are:

Intracellular Pangenesis (1889)
The Mutation Theory German edition (1900-03) English edition (1910-11)
Plant Breeding (1907) German translation (1908)