Book - The cell in development and inheritance (1900)

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Wilson EB. The Cell in Development and Inheritance. Second edition (1900) New York, 1900.

   Cell development and inheritance (1900): Introduction | List of Figures | Chapter I General Sketch of the Cell | Chapter II Cell-division | Chapter III The Germ-cells | Chapter IV Fertilization of the Ovum | Chapter V Reduction of the Chromosomes, Oogenesis and Spermatogenesis | Chapter VI Some Problems of Cell-organization | Chapter VII Some Aspects of Cell-chemistry and Cell-physiology | Chapter VIII Cell-division and Development | Chapter IX Theories of Inheritance and Development | Glossary
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This is a draft version of Wilson's 1900 second edition of his cell and development textbook. Note this is a historic 1900 textbook describing understanding at that time, with many currently outdated concepts in cell biology.



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The Cell in Development and Inheritance

Online Editor - Note this is a historic 1900 textbook describing understanding at that time, with many currently outdated concepts in cell biology.

Preface

Preface to First Edition

This volume is the outcome of a course of lectures, delivered at Columbia University in the winter of 1892-93, in which I endeavoured to give to an audience of general university students some account of recent advances in cellular biology, and more especially to trace the steps by which the problems of evolution have been reduced to problems of the cell. It was my first intention to publish these lectures in a simple and general form, in the hope of showing to wider circles how the varied and apparently heterogeneous cell researches of the past twenty years have grown together in a coherent group, at the heart of which are a few elementary phenomena, and how these phenomena, easily intelligible even to those having no special knowledge of the subject, are related to the problems of development. Such a treatment was facilitated by the appearance, in 1893, of Oscar Hertwig's invaluable book on the cell, which brought together, in a form well designed for the use of special students, many of the more important results of modern cell-research. I am glad to acknowledge my debt to Hertwig's book ; but it is proper to state that the present volume was fully sketched in its main outlines at the time the Zelle und Gewebe appeared. Its completion was, however, long delayed by investigations which I undertook in order to re-examine the history of the centrosomes in the fertilization of the egg, — a subject which had been thrown into such confusion by Fol's extraordinary account of the " Quadrille of Centres " in echinoderms that it seemed for a time impossible to form any definite conception of the cell in its relation to inheritance. By a fortunate coincidence the same task was independently undertaken, nearly at the same time, by several other investigators. The concordant results of these researches led to a decisive overthrow of Fol's conclusions, and the way was thus cleared for a return to the earlier and juster views founded by Hertwig, Strasburger, and Van Beneden, and so lucidly and forcibly developed by Boveri.

The rapid advance of discovery in the mean time has made it seem desirable to amplify the original plan of the work, in order to render it useful to students as well as to more general readers ; and to this end it has been found necessary to go over a considerable part of the ground already so well covered by Hertwig. 1 This book does not, however, in any manner aim to be a treatise on general histology, or to give an exhaustive account of the cell. It has rather been my endeavour to consider, within moderate limits, those features of the cell that seem more important and suggestive to the student of development, and in some measure to trace the steps by which our present knowledge has been acquired. A work thus limited necessarily shows many gaps ; and some of these, especially on the botanical side, are, I fear, but too obvious. On its historical side, too, the subject could be traced only in its main outlines, and to many investigators of whose results I have made use it has been impossible to do full justice.

To the purely speculative side of the subject I do not desire to add more than is necessary to define some of the problems still to be solved ; for I am mindful of Blumenbach's remark that while Drelincourt rejected two hundred and sixty-two "groundless hypotheses" of development, "nothing is more certain than that Drelincourt's own theory formed the two hundred and sixty-third." 2 I have no wish to add another to this list. And yet, even in a field where standpoints are so rapidly shifting and existing views are still so widely opposed, the conclusions of the individual observer may have a certain value if they point the way to further investigation of the facts. In this spirit I have endeavoured to examine some of the more important existing views, to trace them to their sources, and in some measure to give a critical estimate of their present standing, in the hope of finding suggestion for further research.

Every writer on the cell must find himself under a heavy obligation to the works of Van Beneden, Oscar Hertwig, Flemming, Strasburger, and Boveri ; and to the last-named author I have a special sense of gratitude. I am much indebted to my former student, Mr. A. P. Mathews, for calling my attention to the importance of the recent work of physiological chemists in its bearing on the problems of synthetic metabolism. The views developed in Chapter VII. have been considerably influenced by his suggestions, and this subject will be more fully treated by him in a forthcoming work ; but I have endeavoured as far as possible to avoid anticipating his own special conclusions. Among many others to whom I am indebted for kindly suggestion and advice, I must particularly mention my ever helpful friend, Professor Henry F. Osborn, and Professors J. E. Humphrey, T. H. Morgan, and F. S. Lee.


1 Henneguy's Lemons sur la cellule is received, too late for further notice, as this volume is going through the press.

2 Allen Thomson.


In copying so great a number of figures from the papers of other investigators, I must make a virtue of necessity. Many of the facts could not possibly have been illustrated by new figures equal in value to those of special workers in the various branches of cytological research, even had the necessary material and time been available. But, apart from this, modern cytology extends over so much debatable ground that no general work of permanent value can be written that does not aim at an objective historical treatment of the subject ; and I believe that to this end the results of investigators should as far as practicable be set forth by means of their original figures. Those for which no acknowledgment is made are original or taken from my own earlier papers.

The arrangement of the literature lists is as follows. A general list of all the works referred to in the text is given at the end of the book (p. 449). These are arranged in alphabetical order, and are referred to in the text by name and date, according to Mark's convenient system. In order, however, to indicate to students the more important references and partially to classify them, a short separate list is given at the end of each chapter. The chapter-lists include only a few selections from the general list, comprising especially works of a general character and those in which reviews of the

special literature may be found.

E. B. W.

Columbia University, New York, July, 1896.


Preface to the Second Edition

Since the appearance of the first edition of this work, in 1896, the aspect of some of the most important questions with which it deals has materially changed, most notably in case of those that are f ocussed in the centrosome and involve the phenomena of cell-division and fertilization. This has necessitated a complete revision of the book, many sections having been entirely rewritten, while minor changes have been made on almost every page.

In its first form, the work was compressed within limits too narrow for a sufficiently critical treatment of many disputed subjects. It has therefore been considerably enlarged, and upwards of fifty new illustrations have been added. The endeavour has, however, still been made to keep the book within moderate limits, even at some cost of comprehensiveness ; and the present edition aims no more than did the first to cover the whole vast field of cellular biology. Its limitations are, as before, especially apparent in the field of botanical cytology. Here progress has been so rapid that, apart from the difficulty experienced by a zoologist in the attempt to maintain a due sense of proportion in reviewing the subject, an adequate treatment would have required a separate volume. I have therefore, for the most part, considered the cytology of plants in an incidental way, endeavouring only to bring the more important phenomena into relation with those more fully considered in the case of animals.

The steady and rapid expansion of the literature of the general subject renders increasingly difficult the historical form of treatment and the citation of specific authority in matters of detail. This plan has nevertheless still been followed as far as possible, despite the increased bulk of the book and the encumbrance of the text with references thus occasioned, in the hope that these disadvantages will be outweighed by increased usefulness of the work. I beg the reader to remember, however, that no approach to a complete history of cytology and experimental embryology could be attempted, save in a work of far greater proportions, and that it has been necessary to pass by, or dismiss with very brief mention, many works to which space would gladly have been given.

Recent research has yielded many new results of high interest, conspicuous among them the outcome of experiments on cell-division, fertilization, and regeneration ; and they have cleared up many special problems. Broadly viewed, however, the recent advance of discovery has not, in the author's opinion, tended to simplify our conceptions of cell-life, but has rather led to an emphasized sense of the diversity and complexity of its problems. " One is sometimes tempted to conclude," was recently remarked by a well-known embryologist, " that every egg is a law unto itself ! " The jest, perhaps, embodies more of the truth than its author would seriously have maintained, expressing, as it does, a growing appreciation of the intricacy of cell-phenomena, the difficulty of formulating their general aspects in simple terms, and the inadequacy of some of the working hypotheses that have been our guides. It is in the full recognition of such inadequacy, when it exists, and of the danger of hasty generalization in a subject so rapidly moving as this, that our best hope of progress lies.

My best thanks are again due to many friends for helpful criticism, suggestion, and other aid ; and I am indebted to Professor Ulric Dahlgren for the beautiful preparation imperfectly represented by Fig. 59 (from a direct photograph); to F. Emil, E. M. Van Harlingen, and Dr. G. N. Calkins, for aid in the preparation of new illustrations; and to Messrs. Ginn & Co. for the electrotypes of Figs, u, 12, and 1 88, from the Wood's Holl Biological Lectures for 1899.

Columbia University,

December 7, 1899.


Postscript

Of especial importance for some of the discussions in Chapters I.. V. t and VII. are Fischer's extensive work on protoplasm (see Literature, I.) and Strashurger's new rescarches on reduction (see Literature, V.) v both received while this volume was in press and too late for more than a passing mention in the text.

March, 1900.

Table of Contents

Introduction

List of Figures

Historical Sketch of the Cell-theory; its Relation to the Evolution-theory. Earlier Views of Inheritance and Development. Discovery of the Germ-cells. Celldivision, Cleavage, and Development. Modern Theories of Inheritance. Lamarck, Darwin, and Weismann

Literature

Chapter I General Sketch of the Cell

A. General Morphology of the Cell

B. Structural Basis of Protoplasm

C. The Nucleus

1. General Structure

2. Finer Structure of the Nucleus

3. Chemistry of the Nucleus

D. The Cytoplasm

E. The Centrosome

F. Other Cell-organs

G. The Cell-membrane

H. Polarity of the Cell

I. The Cell in Relation to the Multicellular Body

Literature, I. 61

Chapter II Cell-division

A. Outline of Indirect Division or Mitosis 65

B. Origin of the Mitotic Figure 72

C. Details of Mitosis 77

1. Varieties of the Mitotic Figure 78

(a) The Achromatic Figure 78

(d) The Chromatic Figure 86

2. Bivalent and Plurivalent Chromosomes 87

3. Mitosis in the Unicellular Plants and Animals 88

4. Pathological Mitoses 97

D. The Mechanism of Mitosis ioo

1. Function of the Amphiaster ioo

(a) Theory of Fibrillar Contractility ioo

(£) Other Facts and Theories 106

2. Division of the Chromosomes 112

E. Direct or Amitotic Division 114

1. General Sketch 114

2. Centrosome and Attraction-sphere in Amitosis 115

3. Biological Significance of Amitosis 116

F. Summary and Conclusion 119

Literature, II 121

Chapter III The Germ-cells

A. The Ovum 1 24

1. The Nucleus 125

2. The Cytoplasm 130

3. The Egg-envelopes 132

B. The Spermatozoon 134

1. The Flagellate Spermatozoon 135

2. Other Forms of Spermatozoa 142

3. Paternal Germ-cells of Plants 142

C. Origin of the Germ-cells 144

D. Growth and Differentiation of the Germ-cells 150

1. The Ovum 150

(a) Growth and Nutrition 150

(b) Differentiation of the Cytoplasm. Deposit of Deutoplasm . .152

(c) Yolk-nucleus 155

2. Origin of the Spermatozoon 160

3. Formation of the Spermatozoids in Plants 172

E. Staining-reactions of the Germ-nuclei 1 75

Literature, III 177

Chapter IV Fertilization of the Ovum

A. General Sketch 180

1. The Germ-nuclei in Fertilization 181

2. The Achromatic Structures in Fertilization 185

B. Union of the Germ-cells 196

1. Immediate Results of Union 200

2. Paths of the Germ-nuclei 202

3. Union of the Germ-nuclei. The Chromosomes 204

C. The Centrosome in Fertilization 208

D. Fertilization in Plants 215

E. Conjugation in Unicellular Forms 222

F. Summary and Conclusion 229

Literature, IV 231

Chapter V Reduction of the Chromosomes, Oogenesis and Spermatogenesis

A- General Outline 254

1. Reduction in the Female. The Polar Bodies 236

2. Reduction in the Male. Spermatogenesis 241

3. Weismann's Interpretation of Maturation 243

B. Origin of the Tetrads 246

1. General Sketch 246

2. Detailed Evidence 248

C. Reduction without Tetrad-formation 258

D. Some Peculiarities of Reduction in the Insects 27 1

E. The Early History of the Germ-nuclei 272

F. Reduction in Unicellular Forms 277

G. Maturation of Parthenogenetic Eggs 280

Appendix

1 . Accessory Cells of the Testis 284

2. Amitosis in the Early Sex-cells 285

H. Summary and Conclusion 285

Literature, V 287

Chapter VI Some Problems of Cell-organization

A. The Nature of Cell-organs 291

B. Structural Basis of the Cell 293

C. Morphological Composition of the Nucleus 294

1. The Chromatin 294

(a) Hypothesis of the Individuality of the Chromosomes . 294

(d) Composition of the Chromosomes . . . . m . . . 301

D. Chromatin, Linin, and Cytoplasm 302

E. The Centrosome 304

F. The Archoplasmic Structures .316

1. Hypothesis of Fibrillar Persistence 316

2. The Archoplasm Hypothesis 318

3. The Attraction-sphere 323

G. Summary and Conclusion 327

Literature, VI 328

Chapter VII Some Aspects of Cell-chemistry and Cell-physiology

A. Chemical Relations of Nucleus and Cytoplasm 330

1. The Proteids and their Allies 331

2. The Nuclein Series ........... 332

3. Staining-reactions of the Nuclein Series 334


B. Physiological Relations of Nucleus and Cytoplasm 341

1. Experiments on Unicellular Organisms 342

2. Position and Movements of the Nucleus 346

3. The Nucleus in Mitosis 35 1

4. The Nucleus in Fertilization 352

5. The Nucleus in Maturation 353

C. The Centrosome 354

O. Summary and Conclusion 358

Literature, VII 359


Chapter VIII Cell-division and Development

A. Geometrical Relations of Cleavage-forms

B. Promorphological Relations of Cleavage

1. Promorphology of the Ovum

(a) Polarity and the Egg- axis

(6) Axial Relations of the Primary Cleavage-planes Other Promorphological Characters of the Ovum

2. Meaning of the Promorphology of the Ovum

C. Cell-division and Growth

Literature, VIII

Chapter IX Theories of Inheritance and Development

A. The Theory of Germinal Localization 397

B. The Idioplasm Theory 401

C. Union of the Two Theories 403

D. The Roux-Weismann Theory of Development 404

E. Critique of the Roux-Weismann Theory 407

F. On the Nature* and Causes of Differentiation 413

G. The Nucleus in Later Development I.25

H. The External Conditions of Development j.28

I. Development, Inheritance, and Metabolism 130

J. Preformation and Epigenesis. The Unknown Factor in Development . .431

Literature, IX 134

Glossary

General Literature-list 449



Historic Disclaimer - information about historic embryology pages 
Mark Hill.jpg
Pages where the terms "Historic" (textbooks, papers, people, recommendations) appear on this site, and sections within pages where this disclaimer appears, indicate that the content and scientific understanding are specific to the time of publication. This means that while some scientific descriptions are still accurate, the terminology and interpretation of the developmental mechanisms reflect the understanding at the time of original publication and those of the preceding periods, these terms, interpretations and recommendations may not reflect our current scientific understanding.     (More? Embryology History | Historic Embryology Papers)
   Cell development and inheritance (1900): Introduction | List of Figures | Chapter I General Sketch of the Cell | Chapter II Cell-division | Chapter III The Germ-cells | Chapter IV Fertilization of the Ovum | Chapter V Reduction of the Chromosomes, Oogenesis and Spermatogenesis | Chapter VI Some Problems of Cell-organization | Chapter VII Some Aspects of Cell-chemistry and Cell-physiology | Chapter VIII Cell-division and Development | Chapter IX Theories of Inheritance and Development | Glossary

Wilson EB. The Cell in Development and Inheritance. Second edition (1900) New York, 1900.


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