Vilmorin, Lévêque De

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Vilmorin, Lévêque De

 

A family of French selectionists.

Philippe Victoire Vilmorin. Born Sept. 22, 1746, in Landre-court; died Mar. 6, 1804, in Paris. A botanist. Together with his wife’s father, the botanist Pierre Andrieux, Philippe Vilmorin founded the selectionist seed-growing firm Vilmorin-Andrieux in 1774. In 1771 together with the French scholar Duquesne he began to publish a seed catalog with descriptions of the methods of cultivation of agricultural plants and especially of leguminous plants.

André Vilmorin. Born Nov. 30, 1776, in Paris; died Mar. 21, 1862, in Bar. Son of Philippe Victoire. André Vilmorin did work in selection, specifically on the mangel-wurzel. Under his direction the Vilmorin seed-growing enterprise acquired world fame, and in 1815 the firm was turned into a joint-stock company.

Louis Vilmorin. Born Apr. 18, 1816, in Paris; died there Mar. 21, 1860. Son of André. A geneticist. In the 1840’s Louis Vilmorin began directing the firm’s scientific research. Having adopted the method of individual selection in combination with hybridization, he introduced a new type of sugar beet, in which the level of sugar content was increased from 10 to 16 percent. In 1850 he published a catalog of different strains of wheat which the firm had in its collection. He was vice-president of a horticultural society, and actively participated in the organization of the First International Congress on Hybridization.

Henri Vilmorin. Born Feb. 26, 1843, in Paris; died Aug. 23, 1899, in Verrieres. Son of Louis. Head of the firm from 1873. Henri Vilmorin was the first to use artificial crossing (mainly wheat) for practical aims. He introduced 18 high-yielding varieties of wheat and continued his father’s work on the selection of sugar beets.

Maurice Vilmorin. Born Feb. 26, 1849, in Verrieres; died Apr. 21, 1918, in Bar. Brother of Henri. Maurice Vilmorin studied forestry and dendrology and was president of the Botanical Society and the French Agricultural Academy.

Philippe de Vilmorin. Born 1872, in Verrieres; died there June 30, 1917. Son of Henri. Philippe de Vilmorin studied the genetics and selection of wheat and other crops, including barley, oats, legumes, beets, and potatoes. With the English scientist W. Bateson he organized the Fourth Congress of Geneticists in 1911 in Paris.

Jacques Vilmorin. Born 1882; died Mar. 21, 1933. Nephew of Philippe. A selectionist, he directed the scientific research of the firm from 1917 to 1932. Jacques Vilmorin is the author of a scientific work on heredity in sugar beets. He also worked on the selection of wheat and flax.

Roger de Vilmorin. Born Oct. 12, 1905. Member of the French Agricultural Academy; president of the French Botanical Society; president of the National Society for Acclimatization and for the Preservation of Nature; since 1957 corresponding member of the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Since 1927 he has been head of the selectionist seed-growing firm and has directed the activities of the International Commission on Taxonomy, Nomenclature, and the Registration of Cultivated Plants. Under his leadership, high-yielding varieties of winter wheat, corn, sugar beets, legumes, and other plants were introduced.

In France the Vilmorin firm introduced the cultivation of more than 450 species and varieties of such useful plants as the potato and sugar beet and created many high-yielding varieties of various agricultural crops. The firm conducts scientific experiments at the request of selectionist and botanical institutions of various countries, participates in agricultural and botanical exhibits and congresses, and publishes its findings in French and foreign journals.

WORKS

Vilmorin, H. “Nasledstvennost’ u rastenii.” (With introduction by K. Timiriazev.) larovizatsii, 1939, no. 2 (23).

REFERENCES

Shlippe, P. F. “Istoriia Firmy Vil’moren.” Trudy po prikladnoi botanike, genetike i selektsii, 1929-30, vol. 22, no. 5.
Cherkasov, V. “Vil’moreny.” Za ustoichivyi urozhai na lugoVostoke, 1940, no. 11-12.

B. A. ANDREEVA