Vavilov, Nikolay (Ivanovich)

born Nov. 25, 1887, Moscow, Russian Empire
died Jan. 26, 1943, Saratov, Russia, U.S.S.R.

Russian plant geneticist.

Through expeditions to many parts of the world, Vavilov amassed an immense plant collection and conceived the theory that a cultivated plant's centre of origin would be found in the region in which wild relatives of the plant showed maximum adaptiveness. He eventually proposed 13 world centres of plant origin. Though widely considered one of the greatest specialists in botanical populations, he was publicly condemned by Trofim Lysenko at successive plant-breeding congresses (1934–39) as peddling "Mendelist-Morganist genetics" (see Gregor Mendel; Thomas Hunt Morgan), and he died in a concentration camp.

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Universalium. 2010.

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