Hermann Henking

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Hermann Paul August Otto Henking (16 June 1858 – 28 April 1942)[1] was a cytologist who discovered the X chromosome in 1890 or 1891. The work was the result of a study in Leipzig of the testicles of the firebug (Pyrrhocoris) during which Henking noticed that one chromosome did not take part in meiosis. He named this X element because its strange behaviour made him unsure whether it was genuinely a chromosome.[2] It later became X chromosome after it was established that it was indeed a chromosome.[3]


  1. ^ James Wynbrandt, Mark D. Ludman, The Encyclopedia of Genetic Disorders and Birth Defects, page 395, Infobase Publishing, 2009 ISBN 1438120958.
  2. ^ James Schwartz, In Pursuit of the Gene: From Darwin to DNA, pages 155-158, Harvard University Press, 2009 ISBN 0674034910
  3. ^ David Bainbridge, The X in Sex: How the X Chromosome Controls Our Lives, pages 3-5, Harvard University Press, 2003 ISBN 0674016211.