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Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin


Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin

Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin
Michurin's bust in front of Moscow University
Born October 27 [O.S. October 15] 1855
Died June 7, 1935
Nationality Russia
Fields botany
Institutions Lenin All-Union Academy of Agriculture
Known for selection

Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin (Russian: Иван Владимирович Мичурин) (October 27 [O.S. October 15] 1855 – June 7, 1935) was a Russian practitioner of selection, Honorable Member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, and academician of the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agriculture.

Life and work

In 1875, Michurin leased a strip of land of about 500 square metres not far from Tambov, began collecting plants, and started his research in pomology and selection. In 1899, he acquired a much bigger strip of land of about 130,000 square metres and moved all of his plants there.

In 1920, right after the end of the Michurin Central Genetic Laboratory in 1934.

Michurin made a major contribution in the development of genetics, especially in the field of pomology. In his cytogenetic laboratory, he researched cell structure and experimented with artificial polyploidy. Michurin studied the aspects of heredity in connection with the natural course of ontogenesis and external influence, creating a whole new concept of predominance. He proved that predominance depends on heredity, ontogenesis, and phylogenesis of the initial cell structure and also on individual features of hybrids and conditions of cultivation. In his works, Michurin assumed a possibility of changing genotype under external influence.

Michurin was one of the founding fathers of scientific agricultural selection. He worked on hybridization of plants of similar and different origins, cultivating methods in connection with the natural course of ontogenesis, directing the process of predominance, evaluation and selection of seedlings, and acceleration of the process of selection with the help of physical and chemical factors.

Michurin’s method of crossing of geographically distant plants would be widely used by other selectionists. He worked out theoretical basis and some practical means for hybridization of geographically distant plants. Michurin also proposed means for overcoming the genetic barrier of incompatibility during the process of hybridization, such as pollination of the young hybrids during their first florescence, preliminary vegetative crossing, use of a “mediator”, pollination with the mix of different kinds of pollen etc.

The Soviets began to cultivate Michurin’s hybrids of apple, pear, cherry, rowan and others. Michurin was the one to start cultivation of his hybrids of grape, apricot, sweet cherry and other southern plants in the northern climates.

Throughout all his life, Michurin worked to create new sorts of fruit plants. He introduced over 300 new varieties. He was awarded the Order of Lenin and Order of the Red Banner of Labour for his achievements. The town of Michurinsk is named in his honor, as was the Bulgarian town of Tsarevo between 1950 and 1991.

One of the most highly cited phrases by Michurin was: "We cannot wait for favors from Nature. To take them from it – that is our task." During the Lysenkoism campaign, work by Michurin was misused, after his death, by the Soviet propaganda as an argument against genetics.


External links

  • by I.V. MichurinSome Problems of Method
  • Итоги шестидесятилетних работ. Издание пятое. М.: ОГИЗ СЕЛЬХОЗГИЗ, 1949.Мичурин И. В.
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