The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 43: 605 - 613 (1999)

Vol 43, Issue 7

Special Issue: The Hubrecht Laboratory

Pieter Nieuwkoop's contributions to the understanding of meso-endoderm induction and neural induction in chordate development

Published: 30 November -0001

J Gerhart

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


Pieter Nieuwkoop, who died September 18, 1996, at age 79 in Utrecht, The Netherlands, is remembered by developmental biologists for his numerous research contributions and integrative hypotheses over the past 50 years, especially in the areas of neural induction, meso-endoderm induction, and germ cell induction in chordates. Most of his experimentation was done on the embryos of amphibia, the preferred vertebrate embryo of the early years of the 20th century. One of his last publications contains a comparison of the experimental advantages and disadvantages of anuran and urodele amphibians (Nieuwkoop, 1996). The significance of his findings and interpretations for developmental biology can be estimated from the fact that researchers of many laboratories worldwide continue to work on the phenomena he first described and to extend the hypotheses he first formulated. The aim of this article is to review Nieuwkoop's main contributions and to cite the recent extensions by others.

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