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Comparative Cytogenetics. 2009. 3(1): 71-78.

Geographical regularities in the distribution of the genes of cultivated plants

Vavilov N.I.

Abstract. Archives of Russian cytogenetics keep many-sided evidences of close interactions of chromosome studies with the fundamental genetics. Here we present one of the most exciting documents of the initial existence of such connection. It stressed, in particular, the strong practical motivation for development of wide botanical chromosomal studies under influence of global genetic approach built by Nikolai Vavilov. He was who brought together the famous national cytogeneticists in his institute in Leningrad (now again St. Petersburg), and it is demonstrated already in the first issue of the profile journal he inherited from former applied plant breeders. In 1927, a special number of the new-renamed “Bulletin of Applied Botany, of Genetics and Plant-Breeding” (former “Bulletin of Applied Botany and Plant-Breeding”, 1927: vol. 17, No.3) has been dedicated “to the founder of genetical cytology in our country”, Sergei G. Navashin. The volume included the papers under such names as G. Levitsky, I. Sveshnikova, H. Emme, M. Navashin, V. Rybin and G. Karpechenko and was completed by a small publication of N. Vavilov himself. This communication given as “preliminary” is important in many respects, drawing the far going idea for the genetic studies on the Linnean species (either in plants or among animals) and running right up to analyses of chromosome and genomic polymorphisms or polytypy activated far long ago after Vavilov’s epoch.