Édouard-Gérard Balbiani

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Édouard-Gérard Balbiani (July 31, 1823 – July 25, 1899) was a French embryologist born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

He was educated in Frankfurt and Paris. In Paris he studied natural sciences under famed zoologist Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville (1777-1850). In 1874 he became professor of embryogeny at the Collège de France, where he remained until his death in 1899.

Balbiani is known for his work in microbiology as well as his studies in embryology. He is credited with the discovery of sexual organ development in Chironomus which eventually led to the general theory on the autonomy of the germ cell. Also, he conducted comprehensive biological research on the sexual habits of Phylloxera vastatrix.[1] With anatomist Louis-Antoine Ranvier (1835-1922), he founded the Archives d'anatomie microscopique.

In 1884, his daughter Laure Balbiani married psychologist Alfred Binet.

Associated eponyms[edit]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Sur la structure du noyau des cellules salivaires chez les larves de Chironomus. Balbiani, E.G. Zool. Anz. 4: 637-641,662-666
  • Le phylloxera du chêne et le phylloxera de la vigne (1884)


  1. ^ [1] Science, Vine and Wine in Modern France by Harry W. Paul