Boris Isachenko

Isachenko, Boris Lavrent’evich


Born June 2 (14), 1871, in St. Petersburg; died Nov. 17, 1948, in Moscow. Soviet microbiologist and botanist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1946; corresponding member, 1929). Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1945; corresponding member, 1929).

Isachenko graduated from St. Petersburg University in 1895. From 1900 to 1929 he was an assistant professor, professor, and chairman of the subdepartment of microbiology that he organized (in 1918) at the university. From 1902 to 1917 he was director of a seed-testing station, and from 1917 to 1930 he was director of the Botanical Garden of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. From 1929 to 1937 he was head of a section of the All-Union Institute of Experimental Medicine in Leningrad. He joined the Institute of Microbiology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1937 and became its director in 1939. He did research on marine microbiology (mainly in the arctic and antarctic), of which he is considered the founder. Some of his work dealt with general, agricultural, and industrial microbiology, botany, and seed growing. Isachenko investigated the sulfur, nitrogen, and calcium cycles in seas and mud lakes and the participation of bacteria in these cycles. He advanced a hypothesis concerning the biogenic formation of sulfur deposits and the bacterial deposition of calcium. He was one of the first to suggest the use of bacterial fertilizers as well as the bacterial method of controlling animal pests (murine typhus). He investigated the self-heating of grain and peat. Isachenko Island in the Kara Sea was named after him. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and medals.


Izbr. trudy, vols. 1–3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951–57.


B. L. Isachenko. (Materialy k biobibliografii uchenykh SSSR: Seriia bi-ologicheskikh nauk: Mikrobiologiia, fasc. 2.) Moscow, 1951.