Edouard Van Beneden

Edouard Van Beneden

Edouard Van Beneden
Born 5 March 1846
Died 28 April 1910 (1910-04-29) (aged 64)
Citizenship Belgian
Fields embryologist
Institutions University of Liège
Known for meiosis

Édouard Joseph Louis Marie Van Beneden (Leuven, 5 March 1846 – Liège, 28 April 1910), son of Pierre-Joseph Van Beneden, was a Belgian embryologist, cytologist and marine biologist.[1][2] He was professor of zoology at the University of Liège. He contributed to cytogenetics by his works on the roundworm Ascaris. In this work he discovered how chromosomes organized meiosis (the production of gametes).

Van Beneden elucidated, together with Walther Flemming and Eduard Strasburger, the essential facts of mitosis, where, in contrast to meiosis, there is a qualitative and quantitative equality of chromosome distribution to daughter cells. (See karyotype).



Van Beneden's father, Pierre-Joseph van Beneden (18091894) was also a well-known biologist. He introduced two important terms into evolutionary biology and ecology: mutualism and commensalism.[3]


  1. Dictionary of Biography Page 141 Houghton Mifflin Company - 2003 "Beneden, Edouard Joseph Louis-Marie van 1846-1910 * Belgian cytologist and embryologist Born in Liege,"
  2. Anonymous, 1920. Professor Van Beneden of Liége. Science, New Series, Vol. 52, No. 1333 (Jul. 16, 1920), pp. 55-56 [Free PDF http://www.jstor.org/stable/1645676]
  3. Boucher D.H. 1985. The idea of mutualism, past and future. In D.H. Boucher (ed) The biology of mutualism: ecology and evolution. Oxford University Press. 128


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