Dmitrii Prianishnikov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Prianishnikov, Dmitrii Nikolaevich


Born Oct. 25 (Nov. 6), 1865, in the city of Kiakhta, in present-day Buriat ASSR; died Apr. 30, 1948, in Moscow. Soviet agricultural chemist, biochemist, and plant physiologist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1929; corresponding member, 1913) and of the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences (1935). Hero of Socialist Labor (1945).

Prianishnikov graduated from Moscow University in 1887 and from the Petrovskoe Farming and Forestry Academy in 1889. (The latter is now the K. A. Timiriazev Moscow Agricultural Academy.) He was a student and a follower of Timiriazev. From 1895 until his death, Prianishnikov was the chairman of the subdepartment of agricultural chemistry at the Moscow Agricultural Academy. Prianishnikov gave lectures at Moscow University (1891–1931), the Golitsyn Women’s Higher Agricultural Courses (director from 1909 to 1917), and the Moscow Agricultural Institute (rector in 1916 and 1917). He also worked in several research institutes, which he helped organize. These include the Fertilizer Institute (1919–48), which was later reorganized into the Institute for Fertilizers, Insecticides, and Fungicides, and the All-Union Institute of Fertilizers, Agricultural Technology, and Soil Science (1931–48), which is now the D. N. Prianishnikov All-Union Institute of Fertilizers and Soil Science.

Prianishnikov dealt principally with plant nutrition and the use of fertilizers. In 1916 he formulated a theory explaining the role of nitrogen in the life of plants. This theory has become a classic. He described how nitrogen-containing substances are converted in plants, and he explained the role of asparagine in plants.

Prianishnikov also established the scientific basis for the phosphatization of soils. He described the physiological characteristics of potassium salts and tested different kinds of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers in the principal farming regions of the USSR. He also investigated the liming of acid soils, the addition of gypsum to solonetzes, and the use of organic fertilizers. Prianishnikov improved the techniques of studying plant nutrition, analyzing plants and soils, and performing greenhouse experiments.

Prianishnikov’s classic manual Agrochemistry (State Prize of the USSR, 1941) is world renowned. He was awarded the Lenin Prize (1926), two Orders of Lenin, and three other orders.


Moi vospominaniia. Moscow, 1957.
Izbr. soch., vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1965.
Populiarnaia agrokhimiia. Moscow, 1965.


Akademik D. N. Prianishnikov (Sb. k 80-Ietiiu so dnia rozhdeniia). Moscow, 1948.
Pamiati akademika D. N. Prianishnikova. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Peterburgskii, A. V. D. N. Prianishnikov i ego shkola. Moscow, 1962.
D. N. Prianishnikov i voprosy khimizatsii zemledeliia. Moscow, 1967.
Dmitrii Nikolaevich Prianishnikov. Moscow, 1972.


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