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Senebier, Jean

SENEBIER, JEAN (1742-1809), Swiss pastor and voluminous writer on vegetable physiology, was born at Geneva on the 6th of May 1742. He is remembered on account of his contributions to our knowledge of the influence of light on vegetation. Though Marcello Malpighi and Stephen Hales had shown that a great part of the substance of plants must be obtained from the atmosphere, no progress was made until Charles Bonnet observed on leaves plunged in aerated water bubbles of gas, which Joseph Priestley recognized as oxygen. Jan Ingenhousz proved the simultaneous disappearance of carbonic acid ; but it was Senebier who clearly showed that this activity was confined to the green parts, and to these only in sunlight, and first gave a connected view of the whole process of vegetable nutrition in strictly chemical terms. He died at Geneva on the 22nd of July 1809.

See Sachs, Geschichte d. Botanik, and Arbeiten, vol. ii.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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