Aleksandr Sergeevich Serebrovskii

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Serebrovskii, Aleksandr Sergeevich


Born Feb. 6 (18), 1892, in Kursk; died June 26, 1948, in Moscow. Soviet biologist; one of the founders of genetics in the USSR. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1933); Academician of the V. I. Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences (1935).

Serebrovskii graduated from Moscow University in 1914. Beginning in 1918 he worked at a poultry-raising station in Slo-bodka, Tula Oblast, where he conducted research on the genetics of chickens, thus establishing the basis for the development of animal genetics in the USSR. From 1921 he worked at the Anikovo Genetic Station of the People’s Commissariat of Agriculture of the USSR in Anikovo-Nazar’evo, Zvenigorod Raion, Moscow Oblast. That same year he became a lecturer at the Institute of Experimental Biology in Moscow. In 1923, Serebrovskii was made head of the subdepartment of poultry raising (later the subdepartment of genetics) of the Moscow Zootech-nical Institute. He organized a genetics laboratory at the K. A. Timiriazev Biological Institute in 1929 and a genetics and selection division at the All-Union Institute of Livestock Breeding of the V. I. Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 1931. Serebrovskii established the subdepartment of genetics at Moscow State University and was its head from 1930 to 1948. Serebrovskii was the first (1926) to propose a method for determining the size of a gene in conventional units of crossing over and to express the idea of the divisibility of genes. He subsequently confirmed his hypothesis experimentally with his coworkers and proposed a diagram of the structure of a gene with linearly-arranged centers. His hypothesis has been almost entirely confirmed by modern works in molecular genetics. In 1938, Serebrovskii advanced the theory of the origin of new genes by means of the duplication of gene precursors. He established a new trend in evolutionary thinking, which he called genogeography.

Serebrovskii greatly contributed to the development of the bases of selection and hybridization, the methods of genetic analysis, and the introduction into agricultural practice of the achievements of genetics and selection. In 1940 he proposed the first method for controlling insect pests through the reproduction of males with genetic disturbances: the release of abnormal males into the environment would sharply decrease the pest population.

Serebrovskii was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


“Vliianie gena ‘purple’ na crossing-over mezhdu ‘black’ i ‘cinnabar’ u Drosophila ampelophila.” Zhurnal eksperimental’noi biologii: Seriia A, 1926, vol. 2, issues 1–3.
Genetika domashnei kuritsy. Moscow, 1926.
“O novom vozmozhnom metode bor’by s vrednymi nasekomymi.”
Zoologicheskii zhurnal, 1940, vol. 19, issue4.
Geneticheskii analiz. Moscow, 1970.
Nekotorye problemy organicheskoi evoliutsii. Moscow, 1973.


Shapiro, N. I. “Pamiati A. S. Serebrovskogo.” Genetika, 1966, no. 9. (Bibliography.)
Rokitskii, P. F. “Aleksandr Sergeevich Serebrovskii kak genetik i selektsioner.” In A. S. Serebrovskii. Selektsiia zhivotnykh i rastenii. Moscow, 1969.
Khesin, R. B. “Teoriia gena v rabotakh A. S. Serebrovskogo.” Priroda, 1972, no. 8.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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