Boris Astaurov

Astaurov, Boris L’vovich


Born Oct. 14 (27), 1904, in Moscow. Soviet biologist (cytogeneticist, experimental em-bryologist); academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1966; corresponding member 1958).

In 1927, Astaurov graduated from Moscow State University. From 1927 to 1930 he worked for the Commission on Natural Productive Forces of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; from 1930 to 1935 he worked at the Middle Asian Institute of Silkworm Breeding (Tashkent); beginning in 1935 he worked at the Institute for Experimental Biology of the People’s Commissariat of Health. In 1938 he started working at institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR: the Institute of Cytology, Histology, and Embryology (1938–49) and the A. N. Severtsov Institute of Animal Morphology; in 1967 he became director of the Institute of Biological Development. In 1966 he became president of the AU-Union Society of Geneticists and Selectionists. His main work is devoted to inheritance and development in drosophilas and in the mulberry silkworm. Using the latter, Astaurov worked out a method of artificial (thermal) parthenogenesis and discovered a means of obtaining complete interspecific an-drogenesis, thereby proving the determining role of the cell nucleus in the inheritance of species-related traits. Astaurov solved the problem of the regulation of sex and obtained polyploid strains of mulberry silkworms. His main contributions in the area of silkworm breeding are the introduction of industrial hybridization and the use of the biological action of heat shock for the disinfection of living silkworm eggs infected by nosema disease. Astaurov has been awarded two orders and medals.


“Issledovanie nasledstvennogo izmeneniia galterov u Drosophila Melanogaster.” Zhurnal eksperimental’noi biologii, 1927, Series A, vol. 3, issues 1–2.
Iskusstvennyi partenogenez u tutovogo shelkopriada. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
“Poluchenie polnogo geterospermnogo androgeneza u mezhvidovykh gibridov shelkovichnogo chervia.” Izv. AN SSSR: Ser. biologicheskaia, 1957, no. 2. (With V. P. Ostriakova-Varshaver.)
Tsitogenetika razviliia tutovogo shelkopriada i ee eksperimental’nyi kontrol’. Moscow, 1968.
For a list of Astaurov’s works see the journal Tsitologiia, 1965, vol. 7, no. 1.