Butkevich, Vladimir Stepanovich
Born June 7 (19), 1872, in the village of Rusakovo, in present-day Odoevskii Raion, Tula Oblast; died Nov. 4, 1942, in Moscow. Soviet plant physiologist and biochemist; corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1929). Graduated from Moscow University in 1894. Became professor and department head of the K. A. Timiriazev Moscow Agricultural Academy in 1928.
Butkevich’s most significant works were on the chemism of the formation and transformation of organic acids and protein compounds in plants. He defined the role of as-paragine as a reserve of nitrogenous substances in plants. He developed an original theory of respiration (oxidation of carbohydrates without their preliminary decomposition by a type of alcoholic fermentation). Butkevich is the author of a monograph on the role of iron bacteria in the formation of ferromanganous concretions in the sea. Butkevich’s works have significance for the food industry (production of citric acid from sugar), the petroleum industry (microbiologic method of prospecting for oil and fuel gases), and agriculture (rapid determination of soil requirements for phosphorus and potassium fertilizers). He was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.