The Englishman Grew and the Italian Malpighi almost simultaneously published ifiustrated works on the subject, in which they described, for the most part very accurately, what they saw with the new instruments.
It is sufficient to note here that cells were first of all discovered in various vegetable tissues by Robert Hooke in 1665 (Micrographia); Malpighi and Grew (1674-1682) gave the first clear indications of the importance of cells in the building up of plant tissues, but it was not until the beginning of the 19th century that any insight into the real nature of the cell and its functions was obtained.
This minuter study had two origins, one in the researches of the medical anatomists, such as Fabricius (1537-1619), Severinus (1580-1656), Harvey (1578-1657), and Tyson (1649-1708), the other in the careful work of the entomologists and first microscopists, such as Malpighi (1628-1694), Swammerdam (1637-1680), and Hook (1635-1702).
He showed that the gaseous constituents of the air contribute largely to the nourishment of plants, and that the leaves are the organs which elaborate the food; the importance of leaves in nutrition had been previously pointed out by Malpighi in a short account of nutrition which forms an appendix to his anatomical work.
Nehemiah Grew and his contemporary Marcello Malpighi were the earliest discoverers in the department of plant anatomy.
The views of Malpighi were warmly welcomed on philosophical grounds by Leibnitz, 4 who found in them a support to his 1 The Exercitationes de generatione animalium, which Dr George Ent extracted from him and published in 1651.
In the anatomical field the work of Malpighi and Swammerdam was at first continued most energetically by French students.
But the belief, dating from Malpighi Th (1670), that there is a relationship to be discovered, and not merely a haphazard congregation of varieties of gists.