The French botanist Jules Émile Planchon (1823-1888) studied in Montpellier Pharmacy and medicine and returned from 1853 as a professor of botany at this university. In the meantime he had worked in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew in England and as a teacher in Gent and Nancy. In 1868 he was with the vineyard owner Gaston Bazille (1819-1894) and the horticulturist Félix Sahut commissioned to investigate the cause of the enigmatic grapevine dying that is occurring throughout Europe. Within only two days, these succeeded as the cause phylloxera to identify. When they dug up some rhizomes of sick vines, the roots seemed to be covered with yellow varnish because of the large amount of phylloxera.
Planchon immediately suspected that there needed to be a winged form of these insects and actually discovered those on the withered foliage of the vine with a magnifying glass. These specimens were equipped with two pairs of transparent wings and surprisingly resembled the oak parasite "Phylloxera quercus" (the two insect species are not related to each other). Therefore, Planchon gave the devastating pest the aptly named "Phylloxera vastatrix" (devastating / destructive louse). It was not until years later that Planchon became aware of the fact that phylloxera had been imported from America in collaboration with other experts during a study trip to the USA in 1873.
The French Government had already created in 1870 a commission to combat phylloxera, which examined over 700 proposals. Planchon had on his trip to the United States American entomologist (entomologist) Charles Valentine Riley (1843-1895) met. With this he found the as finishing designated and still valid solution by grafting of precious rice on American documents (Rhizomes). Mention must be made, however, that previously also other such as the above-mentioned Bazille and the biologist Georg Engelmann (1809-1884) had proposed this solution. However, it took nine years for American vines to be allowed to enter, and for many years attempts to protect them from the rain and with the various European ones soil types to select compatible rootstocks.
Decisive work was done by Pierre Viala (1859-1936), who led a delegation sent by the French Ministry of Agriculture to the United States in 1887, and there by the American botanist Thomas Volnay Munson (1843-1913) got important information. Further years passed before the refinement represented by the "Americanists" prevailed against the solution of chemical control advocated by the "Sulfurists". Most likely, with the large import of American vines the big third plague Wrong mildew common. And again it was Planchon who determined this dangerous fungus in 1878. In 1880 Planchon described the vine species Vitis berlandieri and named it after the Swiss biologist Jean Louis Berlandier; Today is her name Vitis cinerea var. Helleri,