Famintsyn, Andrei Sergeevich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Famintsyn, Andrei Sergeevich


Born June 17 (29), 1835, in Moscow; died Dec. 8, 1918, in Petrograd. Russian botanist and public figure. Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1884; adjunct professor, from 1878).

In 1857, Famintsyn graduated from the University of St. Petersburg, where he was a student of A. S. Tsenkovskii. He became an instructor at the university in 1861 and served as a professor there from 1867 to 1889. In 1890 he founded and became the first director of the laboratory of plant anatomy and physiology of the Academy of Sciences. (The laboratory is now the K. A. Timiriazev Institute of Plant Physiology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.)

Famintsyn was the founder of the St. Petersburg school of plant physiologists, who included I. P. Borodin, A. F. Batalin, and D. I. Ivanovskii. In 1887 he wrote the first Russian-language textbook on plant physiology. Famintsyn principally studied photosynthesis and plant metabolism. He proved that assimilation of CO2 and the formation of starch could occur under natural illumination. He and O. V. Baranetskii were the first—in 1867—to isolate the green cells of algae from lichens. Famintsyn discovered the symbiosis of algae and radiolarians and developed the theory of symbiogenesis. In 1901 he introduced the study of the natural sciences and mathematics to the Russian educational system; that same year he became the chairman of the Bureau of Bibliography in these subjects at the Academy of Sciences. Famintsyn and V. I. Vernadskii organized the Commission for the Study of the Natural Productive Forces of Russia. Famintsyn served as president of the Free Economic Society from 1906 to 1909, and he was appointed honorary president of the Russian Botanical Society in 1915.


Obmen veshchestv i prevrashchenie energii v rasteniiakh. St. Petersburg, 1883.
Uchebnik fiziologii rastenii. St. Petersburg, 1887.
“O roli simbioza v evoliutsii organizmov.” Zapiski Imperatorskoi AN Fiz.-mat. otdelenie Seriia 8, 1907, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 1–14.


Borodin, I. P. “Andrei Sergeevich Famintsyn (1835–1918).” Zhurnal Russkogo botanicheskogo obshchestva, 1919, vol. 4, no. 1 (references).
Senchenkova, E. M. “Andrei Sergeevich Famintsyn (K 40-letiiu so dnia smerti).” Botanicheskii zhurnal, 1960, vol. 45, no. 2 (references).
Istoriia i sovremennoe sostoianie fiziologii rastenii v Akademii nauk. Moscow, 1967.


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