Fascinating viruses

1906 | Quanjer: virus studies potato plants

Professor Quanjer studied pharmacology in Amsterdam. After working as an assistant at the Phytopathological Laboratory, ‘Willie Commelin Scholten’, under Professor Ritzema Bos, Quanjer joined Ritzema Bos at the Rijks Hoogere Land-, Tuin- en Boschbouwschool (National Higher College of Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry) in Wageningen in 1906. Quanjer’s accurate anatomical observations of diseased potato plants led […]

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1886-1898 | Beijerinck: contagion vivum fluidum

In 1886, Beijerinck, a former colleague of Mayer in Wageningen, by then based in Delft, was asked by Mayer to look into the tobacco mosaic disease. Beijerinck filtered mosaic virus-infected liquid pulp of the leaves using a porcelain filter, called the Pasteur-Chamberland filter. This device filtered out any bacteria that might be present. He then

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1884 | The Pasteur-Chamberland filter

A Pasteur-Chamberland filter is a porcelain water filter invented in 1884 by French microbiologist Charles Edouard Chamberland, an assistant to Louis Pasteur. The filter is not permeable to bacteria, and was initially used to sterilise liquids. It consists of a permeable unglazed porcelain tube (called a biscuit) containing a ring of enamelled porcelain through which

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1879 | Mayer & the tobacco mosaic disease

The history of virology in Wageningen dates back to the late nineteenth century. In 1879, Adolf Mayer, head of the newly established Landbouwproefstation (Agricultural Research Station) and Chemistry teacher at the Rijkslandbouwschool (National Agricultural School) in Wageningen, was asked by tobacco growers in the province of Utrecht to investigate a strange disease that led to

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