Adolf Eduard Mayer ( Adolf Eduard Mayer in German ; August 9, 1843 , Oldenburg , Kingdom of Hanover , December 25, 1942 , Heidelberg , Germany ) - a German agronomist , whose work on mosaic tobacco disease served as the basis for the discovery of viruses and the birth of scientific research in the field of virology .
|Mayer, Adolf Edward|
|him Adolf eduard mayer|
|Date of Birth||August 9, 1843|
|Place of Birth||Oldenburg , Kingdom of Hannover|
|Date of death||December 25, 1942 (99 years)|
|Place of death||Heidelberg , Germany|
|Scientific field||botany , virology|
|Place of work||University of Halle |
|Alma mater||Heidelberg University|
|Academic degree||Ph.D. in chemistry, physics and mathematics, 1864|
|Known as||pioneer researcher of mosaic disease of tobacco|
Adolf Meier was born in the family of Karl August Meyer (1808-1894), a school teacher. His mother, Louise Julie, was the daughter of the famous German chemist Leopold Gmelin . In the years 1860-1862, Adolf Meier studied mathematics and science at the Technical School in Karlsruhe, after which he entered the University of Heidelberg and two years later received a Ph. D. in mathematics, physics and chemistry with honors. From 1868 he began to give lectures on agrarian chemistry in Heidelberg, in 1875 he became a professor there; in 1876 he was invited to Wageningen in the Netherlands to the local agricultural school there, since 1889 the chairman of the Board of Dutch chiefs of analytical stations.
In 1879, as the head of a scientific agrarian station in Wageningen, Meier began studying the disease of tobacco at the request of Dutch farmers. In 1886, he published the results of research on this disease, which he called “mosaic disease of tobacco”, and its symptoms  . Mayer showed that a healthy plant can be infected by treatment with an extract from a diseased plant, like a bacterial or fungal infection. At that time, there was no idea of the existence of viruses, and in his work, Meyer was focused on isolating a bacterial culture or detecting a fungal infection that could be responsible for mosaic tobacco disease. However, using a light microscope, he was unable to detect traces of either bacteria or fungi in extracts from affected plants. In his work, Mayer erroneously showed that he was able to obtain a “pure filtrate” during several filtration on paper filters, which allegedly did not lead to infection when he processed healthy plants. This conclusion was refuted by Russian botanist Dmitry Ivanovsky , who in 1892 reported that neither Chamber filters nor Cemerlena ceramic filters, with the thinnest pores at that time, were able to keep the causative agent of tobacco mosaic from an extract of infected plants. In 1898, the Dutch scientist Martin Beyerink , a colleague of Meier in Wageningen, first named the virus to this pathogen. In 1935, the tobacco mosaic virus became the first virus to be crystallized. Thus, despite the erroneous indication of pathogen filterability, Mayer's work on the study of tobacco mosaic played an important role in the discovery of viruses and the development of virology in general  .
- Mayer, Adolf. Über die Mosaikkrankheit des Tabaks (him.) // Die Landwirtschaftliche Versuchs-stationen. - 1886. - Bd. 32 . - S. 451-467 .
- Zaitlin, Milton. The Discovery of the Causal Agent of the Mosaic Disease (Eng.) // Discoveries in Plant Biology / Ed. Kung, SD; Yang, SF. - Hong Kong: World Publishing Co., 1998. - Vol. 1 . - P. 105-110 . - ISBN 978-9810213138 .