Nikolai Maksimov

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Maksimov, Nikolai Aleksandrovich


Born Mar. 9 (21), 1880, in Moscow; died May 9, 1952; in Moscow. Soviet botanist. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, (1946; corresponding member, 1932).

In 1902, Maksimov graduated from the University of St. Petersburg. From 1917 he was a professor at higher educational institutions in Tbilisi, Krasnodar, Petrograd, Saratov, and Moscow. He also headed several physiological laboratories that he had created, including the ones at the Central Botanical Gardens (1921-27) and at the All-Union Institute of Grain Production (1933-38). Beginning in 1939 he worked at the K. A. Timiriazev Institute of Plant Physiology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (director, 1946-52).

Maksimov was one of the founders of ecological plant physiology. His works were on the frost resistance and drought resistance of plants. He explained the destruction of plants by frost as the mechanical damage of dehydrated tissues by ice crystals that accumulate in the intercellular spaces. He also explained that plants are protected from frost by the concentration of osmotically active substances, such as sugars, in the cell sap. Maksimov established that xerophytes differ from other plants not in decreased transpiration, as was previously thought, but in their capacity to endure prolonged and extensive wilting without a decrease in productivity. He was awarded the V. I. Lenin Award in 1930 for his monograph The Physiological Bases of Drought Resistance in Plants (1926). He was also awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


Izbrannye raboty po zasukhoustoichivosti i zimostoikosti rastenii, vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1952.
Kratkii kurs fiziologii rastenii, 9th ed. Moscow, 1958.


Tumanov, I. I. “Osnovnye cherty nauchnoi deiatel’nosti N. A. Maksimova.” In the collection Pamiati akademika N. A. Maksimova. Moscow, 1957.
“N. A. Maksimov.” Moscow-Leningrad, 1949. (AN SSSR: Materialy k biobibliografii uchenykh SSSR, seriia biologicheskikh nauk, fiziologiia rastenii, issue 2.)


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