Godnev, Tikhon

Godnev, Tikhon Nikolaevich


Born Mar. 24 (Apr. 5), 1893, in Zadonsk, in present-day Lipetsk Oblast. Soviet plant physiologist; academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Byelorussian SSR (1940; corresponding member, 1935).

Godnev graduated from Moscow University in 1916 and continued working there until 1919. He was a docent at the University of Astrakhan from 1919 to 1923 and at the Ivanovo Polytechnic Institute from 1923 to 1927. He has been a professor at the University of Byelorussia since 1927.

Godnev created the Soviet school of research in chlorophyll biosynthesis; his principal works are in chlorophyll biochemistry, the theory of chlorophyll formation, and the status of chlorophyll within the plant. He is the author of accepted theories on the formation of chlorophyll through monopyrrole and leuco compounds of porphyrins, the unified process of chlorophyll and heme synthesis from carbohydrates, and the relative stability of chlorophyll content in a volume unit of chloroplasts. He proved the unity of protochlorophyll (the precursor of chlorophyll) in the plant world and was the first to effect its transformation to chlorophyll in darkness (in angiosperms). Godnev’s investigations of the state of photosynthetic pigments during ontogeny in relation to light and temperature were a prerequisite for intervention in the photosynthetic process. Godnov has been awarded two Orders of Lenin, three other orders, and a medal.


Stroenie khlorofilla i metody ego kolichestvennogo opredeleniia. Minsk, 1952.
Khlorofill: ego stroenie i obrazovanie v rastenii. Minsk, 1963.


Russkie botaniki: Biografo-bibliograficheskii slovar’, vol. 2. Compiled by S. Iu. Lipshits. Moscow, 1947. Pages 297–99.