From art to science: A. A. Sapegin and the development of soviet plant breeding

This paper presents a biography of geneticist and plant breeder A. A. Sapegin, a colleague and close ally of N. I. Vavilov. At the Odessa Breeding Station which he had helped found, and subsequently at the Ukrainian Plant Breeding and Genetics Institute, in his teaching, textbooks, and lectures, Sapegin actively promoted the view that scientific breeding had to be established on the basis of modern genetics. He was one of the first to start using X-rays for the production of artificial mutations in plants. Vavilov supported Sapegin’s work and appointed him the deputy director of the Institute of Genetics, USSR Academy of Sciences. Correspondence between the two scientists offers new details on Sapegin’s defense of basic genetics research against attacks on it as impractical and the difficulties he encountered because of his active opposition to the growing T. D. Lysenko movement. Sapegin offered to conduct careful tests of Lysenko’s research claims, but despite having obtained an experimental refutation, he was not able to influence political developments.


Recommended bibliographic description

, From art to science: A. A. Sapegin and the development of soviet plant breeding, Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki [Studies in History of Science and Technology], , p.  758-782

    © Studies in the History of Science and Technology: Quarterly scientific journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2015)
    ISSN 0205-9606. Индекс 70143