Hofmeister, Wilhelm (vĭlˈhĕlm hōfˈmĪˌstər) [key], 1824–77, German botanist. Although self-taught, he made such valuable studies of the reproduction and development of plants that he was appointed professor, successively, at the universities of Heidelberg (1863) and Tübingen (1872). He demonstrated alternation of generations, especially in nonflowering plants, and described the behavior of the nucleus in cell formation.
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