The Active Albumen in Plants1

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ONE of the most important chemical functions of plant-cells is that synthesis of albuminous matter which serves for the formation of protoplasm. The living protoplasm, however, is composed of proteids entirely different from the ordinary soluble proteids, as well as from the proteids of dead protoplasm. In other words, if living protoplasm dies, the albuminous constituents change their chemical character. We observe that in the living state a faculty of autoxidation (respiration) exists, which is wanting in the dead condition; and Pflüger, in 1875, drew from this the conclusion that in protoplasm the chemical constitution of the living proteids changes at the moment of death.

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  1. 1

    Many examples can be cited from organic chemistry; for instance, the rapid change of the diamidoaceton as soon as it is liberated from its salts (Berichte d. Deutschen Chem. Ges. 25, 1563). Compare also the article, "Chemical Motions," Biolog. Centralblatt ix. N. 16.

  2. 2

    O. Loew und Th. Bokorny, Biolog. Centralblatt xi, 1.

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LOEW, O. The Active Albumen in Plants1. Nature 46, 491–492 (1892) doi:10.1038/046491a0

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