Hans Spemann – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Induction and organizers[edit]

Spemann was appointed Professor of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy at Rostock in 1908 and, in 1914, Associate Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Biology at Dahlem, Berlin. Here he undertook the experiments that would make him famous. Drawing upon the recent work of Warren H. Lewis[2] and Ethel Browne Harvey,[5] he turned his skills to the gastrula, grafting a “field” of cells (the Primitive knot) from one embryo onto another.

The experiments, aided by Hilde Proescholdt (later Mangold), a Ph.D. candidate in Spemann’s laboratory in Freiburg, took place over several years and were published in full only in 1924. They described an area in the embryo, the portions of which, upon transplantation into a second embryo, organized or “induced” secondary embryonic primordia regardless of location. Spemann called these areas “organiser centres” or “organisers”. Later he showed that different parts of the organiser centre produce different parts of the embryo.



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