Julius von SACHS (1832-1897), German botanist, who is considered the founder of experimental plant physiology. Sachs was born in Breslau, Silesia (now Wroclaw, Poland), on Oct. 2, 1832. He studied at Prague and received his doctorate in 1856. After holding other academic positions, he was appointed professor of botany at Würzburg in 1869, a position he held until his death, in Würzburg, on May 29, 1897.
Sachs devoted the major portion of his studies to plant metabolism and the determination of the relative importance of various minerals in plant nutrition. He clarified the process of respiration in plants and showed that chlorophyll is located in plant cells in special bodies that were later named chloroplasts. He found that sunlight plays the essential role in the absorption of carbon dioxide by these bodies and that starch appears in the chloroplasts immediately following the absorption. In addition, he carried out research on phototropism and geotropism and studied the mechanism of water transport in plants. A respected teacher, Sachs wrote several important works, of which the best known is Lehrbuch der Botanik (1868).