Vinogradskii, Sergei

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vinogradskii, Sergei Nikolaevich


Born Sept. 1 (13), 1856, in Kiev; died Feb. 24, 1953, in Paris. Russian microbiologist. Corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1894). From 1923 an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Member of the French Academy of Sciences and the London Royal Society.

In 1881, Vinogradskii graduated from the natural science division of the University of St. Petersburg, where he had been preparing to assume the rank of professor. From 1885 to 1891 he pursued his scientific work in France and Switzerland. From 1891 to 1912 he was the head of the general microbiology section of the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St. Petersburg. Vinogradskii actively participated in the organization of the Russian Microbiological Society in 1903 and was its president for the first two years. In 1922 he went to France, and until the end of his life he directed the division of agricultural microbiology of the Pasteur Institute near Paris. Vinogradskii was the first to show that special microorganisms (autotrophs) exist which obtain energy by oxidizing inorganic substances. The energy thus created is used to assimilate carbon dioxide or carbonates; the assimilation of carbon dioxide based on this process is called chemosynthesis. Vinogradskii’s discovery of chemosynthesis made it possible for Russian microbiology to attain a leading position and it had a great influence on the development of microbiology in other countries. Vinogradskii was the first (1893) to extract from the soil the anaerobic sporogenous bacterium Clostridium pasteurianum, which assimilates molecular nitrogen.


“K morfologii organizmov protsessa obrazovaniia selitry v poch\e.” Arkhiv biologicheskikh nauk, 1892, vol. 1, no. 1.
“Ob usvoenii svobodnogo azota atmosfery mikrobami.” Arkhiv biologiche skikh nauk, 1895, vol. 3, no. 4.


Imshenetskii, A. A. “S. N. Vinogradskii i ego tvorchestvo.” In S. N. Vinogradskii Mikrobiologiia pochvy: Problemy i melody. Moscow, 1952.
Isachenko. B. L. “Mikrobiologiia.” In Ocherki po istorii russkoi botaniki (collection of articles). Moscow, 1947.
Waksman, S. A. Sergei N. Winogradsky. New Brunswick, N. J., 1953.
Russkie mikrobiologi S. N. Vinogradskii i V. L. Omelianskii (collection of articles). Moscow, 1960. [Gutina, V. N.] “S. N. Vinogradskii.” In Liudi russkoi nauki. Moscow, 1963.


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