About Wilhelm Johannsen:
Wilhelm Johannsen was a Danish botanist, plant physiologist, and geneticist. He was born in Copenhagen. While very young, he was apprenticed to a pharmacist and worked in Denmark and Germany beginning in 1872 until passing his pharmacist's exam in 1879. In 1881, he became assistant in the chemistry department at the Carlsberg Laboratory under the chemist Johan Kjeldahl. Johannsen studied the metabolism of dormancy and germination in seeds, tubers and buds. He showed that dormancy could be broken by various anesthetic compounds, such as diethyl ether and chloroform. In 1892, he was appointed lecturer at Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University and later became professor of botany and plant physiology. He taught plant physiology. His most well-known research concerned so-called pure lines of the self-fertile common bean. He was able to show that even in populations homozygous for all traits, i.e. without genetic variation, seed size followed a normal distribution. This was attributable to resource provision to the mother plant and to the position of seeds in pods and of pods on the plant. This led him to coin the terms phenotype and genotype.