Vol 18, No 1 (2020)

6. History, personalities, information

N.I. Vavilov, VIR, university


Contacts between N.I. Vavilov (VIR) and Yu.A. Filipchenko (Dept. of Genetics, Leningrad State University) reflect close interaction of science and education in fundamental and applied genetics at the first halve of XX century. This interaction put the basis for the future Institute of Genetics of the USSR Academy of Sciences, the first director of which became N.I. Vavilov at 1933. 1932 by Vaviliv’s initiative there had been organized Dept. of Plant Genetics in the University under leadership of Karpechenko. Müller and Bridges had been teaching in the University being invited by Vavilov in Institute of Genetics. The revival of genetics in the University at 50-s of XX century, after lysenkoism period, proceeded under the influence of Vavilov even perished 1943 in prison. The role of Lobashev and Feodorov in those events is evident.

Ecological genetics. 2020;18(1):5-10
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G.D. Karpechenko — an outstanding geneticist, “sunny man”, legendary fellow-compatriot


Georgy Dmitrievich Karpechenko was the organizer and the first head of VIR’s Genetics Department (1925–1940) and the first head of the Chair of Plant Genetics at Leningrad University (1932–1940). The charm of the personality of the great scientist is evident not only from his letters to colleagues and relatives: it is seen in his reports at scientific forums, it is preserved in the genetic memory of fellow countrymen from his small homeland in the town of Velsk. Cordiality, love of life, openness, kindness, sense of humor coexisted in him with unbending firmness, integrity, intolerance towards trampling on the scientific truth, towards any untruth, towards pseudoscience. The article presents a series of previously unpublished archival facts, excerpts from his personal correspondence, as well as evidence of the zeal of the inhabitants of Velsk in perpetuating the name of G.D. Karpechenko.

Ecological genetics. 2020;18(1):11-20
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Celebrating 80th anniversary of professor Sergey Gostimsky


The paper is dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Professor Sergey Gostimsky (Genetics Department, Faculty of Biology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University). Professor Gostimsky’s contribution to science and higher education is referenced.

Ecological genetics. 2020;18(1):21-25
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VIR in photos


There are photos that reflect the history of VIR.

Ecological genetics. 2020;18(1):26-26
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Genetic basis of ecosystems evolution

Modern approach of structuring the variety diversity of the naked and covered forms of cultural oats (Avena sativa L.)

Loskutov I.G., Shelenga T.V., Konarev A.V., Vargach Y.I., Porokhovinova E.A., Blinova E.V., Gnutikov A.A., Rodionov A.V.


Structuring and phenotyping genetic diversity is an important aspect of the work with breeding sources and materials.

In the Introduction, the authors pointed out the role of N.I. Vavilov’s scientific foresight in defining the topical trend in researching the genetic diversity of a crop, particularly the analysis of its biochemical composition. As the target of their research, the authors chose biochemical characters identifiable in the process of metabolomic analysis conducted by means of gas chromatography with mass spectrometry.

 Materials and methods. The object was the grain of naked and covered forms of common oat (Avena sativa L.) from the collection held by the Oat, Rye and Barley Genetic Resources Department of VIR. The analysis of oil fatty acid content and metabolomic research were performed using the method of gas chromatography with mass spectrometry on the chromatograph Agilent 6850 (USA).

Results. The obtained metabolomic spectra which reflected the metabolomic status of genotypes of various ecogeographic origin were compared among themselves using statistical (principal component) analysis methods. The results of the comparison are discussed by referring to the most important groups of metabolites significant for forming the traits of resistance to stressors as well as the characters related to food qualities of grain products. Special attention has been paid to biologically active compounds determining the functional value of the products for human nutrition: the sum of phenolics in covered forms is five times higher than that in naked ones and the content of glycine in covered forms is five times higher than in naked grain, with a similar proportion in the content of organic acids, sugars, etc.

Conclusion. Differences between metabolomic profiles of naked and covered forms have been detected and statistically verified. Accessions with the most optimal nutritional composition have been identified for food purposes and for the development of resistance to biotic and abiotic environmental stresses.

Ecological genetics. 2020;18(1):27-41
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Determinate growth habit of grain legumes: role in domestication and selection, genetic control

Krylova E.A., Khlestkina E.K., Burlyaeva M.O., Vishnyakova M.A.


This review is devoted to the analysis of molecular genetic mechanisms of controlling the type of growth habit of grain legumes (pea, soybean, common bean, vigna); it provides information about known homologous genes TFL1, LFY, AP1, FUL, FT, and FD. Significant changes in plant architecture were during domestication of grain legumes. Many wild relatives of legumes are characterized by an indeterminate growth habit type, cultivated plants are characterized by indeterminate and determinate types. In plants with a determinate growth habit type, terminal inflorescence is formed at transition from the vegetative phase to the reproductive phase. These plants are characterized by a complex of features: simultaneous maturation of beans, resistance to lodging, etc. In indeterminate type of growth habit, the apical shoot meristem remains active during plant life. The main genes responsible for the plant transition to flowering are the homologs of the Arabidopsis genes LFY, TFL1, AP1. TFL1 gene is responsible for maintenance of growth of the shoot apical meristem; its homologs were identified in pea (PsTFL1a), soybean (Dt1/GmTFL1), common bean (PvTFL1y), cowpea (VuTFL1). The identification and characterization of the genes responsible for the type of stem growth habit are necessary for the successful selection of modern varieties suitable for mechanized cultivation. Design of molecular markers that diagnose this important breeding trait at early plant development stages, will help to determine the type of stem growth habit.

Ecological genetics. 2020;18(1):43-58
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Genetic diversity of cereal crops for powdery mildew resistance

Radchеnko E.E., Abdullaev R.A., Anisimova I.N.


Powdery mildew (causal agent Blumeria graminis) is a widespread and harmful fungi disease of cereal crops especially in the regions with humid climate. The pathogen is differentially interacting with plant host genotypes. Growing cereal crop varieties protected with different resistance genes is the most rational, costly and ecologically safe way of combating powdery mildew. The supply of effective genes can be increased due to studies of crop genetic resources collection, introgression of resistance from wild relatives, and also at the expense of mutant forms created with the use of traditional (induced mutagenesis) and biotechnological methods including genome editing. This causes the increasing interest to searching and identifying resistance genes, elucidation of their structural and functional organization, and analysis of molecular mechanisms of the character development. The review summarizes modern information on the identified genes of powdery mildew resistance of the main cereal crops – wheat, barley and oat. The list of wheat and barley genes identified at the molecular level is presented. It includes genes encoding NLR and CNL proteins (Pm2, Pm3, TaMla2, TaMla3 genes of wheat, rye Pm8 gene, barley Mla gene), receptor-like proteins (barley Mlo gene), transport proteins and receptor-like kinases (Lr34, Lr67, Pm21 of wheat).

Ecological genetics. 2020;18(1):59-78
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Analysis of introgressive lines of inter-species pea hybrids by band composition of seed proteins

Bobkov S.V., Bychkov I.A., Selikhova T.N., Semenova E.V., Vishnyakova M.A.


Background. The reproductive incompatibility of cultivated (Pisum sativum) and wild (P. fulvum) pea species determines the difficulties of obtaining hybrids as well as the transfer of valuable wild parent alleles into interspecific hybrids and their use in the breeding process. The aim of the research was a comparative study of protein spectra of pea interspecific hybrids BC2F5 P. sativum × P. fulvum obtained by the authors and their parents.

Materials and methods. The band composition of seed proteins in the interspecific hybrids of peas BC2F5, variety Stabil (P. sativum) × accession from VIR collection I-609881 (P. fulvum) has been studied. Effectiveness of parent gene transfer determining each polymorphic position of electrophoretic spectrum were evaluated.

Results. The ratio of the actual frequencies of the bands of the cultivated and wild parents in the introgression lines corresponded to the expected level in 73% positions of the electrophoretic spectrum. The introgression rate of individual seed protein bands from wild parent into interspecific pea hybrids in the absence of selection significantly exceeded the expected level, which may indicate the adaptive value of alleles encoding unique seed protein isoforms.

Conclusion. The possibility of introgressive transfer of wild-type alleles to the cultivated genotypes of pea, as well as the presence of identified cultivated isoforms of storage proteins in all studied lines of BC2F5 interspecific hybrids in 88.2% of the polymorphic positions of the electrophoretic spectrum, indicates the possibility of using the wild species P. fulvum in pea breeding.

Ecological genetics. 2020;18(1):79-88
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Loskutov I.G., Novikova L.Y., Kovaleva O.N., Ivanova N.N., Blinova E.V., Belskaya G.V.


Under conditions of climate change, the assessment of the stability of genotypes is of particular importance. To conduct directed selection of genotypes with a narrow or broad reaction rate, it is necessary to assess their stability already in the early stages of breeding. The aim of the study was to study the stability of breeding significant traits of oat and barley samples in contrasting ecological and geographical conditions. 25 oat samples and 25 barley samples were studied over 3 years under contrasting conditions in St. Petersburg and the Tambov Region. Varieties are characterized by average values of economically valuable traits and genotype regression coefficients on the influence of the bi environment according to Eberhart and Russell. The most sensitive to a change in the ecological and geographical situation were the durations of the germination–heading, germination–harvest periods and grain yield. These characters varied to a greater extent depending on the cultivation conditions than on the genotype. According to regression coefficients for environmental conditions, significant differences in genotypes were only in yield. Contrasting groups of varieties were distinguished by regression coefficients on environmental conditions, genotypes with high productivity. The durations of “germination–heading”, “germination–harvest”, the plant height reacted to the change in the environment the same in different varieties. The duration of the growing season was determined by the sum of effective temperatures above 15 °С. The reduction of the growing season in both crops was 3 days with an increase in the sum of effective temperatures above 15 °С by 100 °С.

Ecological genetics. 2020;18(1):89-102
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Methodology in ecological genetics

High-throughput sequencing techniques to flax genetics and breeding

Akhmetshina A.O., Strygina K.V., Khlestkina E.K., Porokhovinova E.A., Brutch N.B.


Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) is an important oil and fiber crop. Using modern methods for flax breeding allows accelerating the introduction of some desired genes into the genotypes of future varieties. Today, an important condition for their creation is the development of research, that is based on next-generation sequencing (NGS). This review summarizes the results obtained using NGS in flax research. To date, a linkage map with a high marker density has been obtained for L. usitatissimum, which is already being used for a more efficient search for quantitative traits loci. Comparative studies of transcriptomes and miRNomes of flax under stress and in control conditions elucidated molecular-genetic mechanisms of abiotic and biotic stress responses. The very accurate model for genomic selection of flax resistant to pasmo was constructed. Based on NGS-sequencing also some details of the genus Linum evolution were clarified. The knowledge systematized in the review can be useful for researchers working in flax breeding and whereas fundamental interest for understanding the phylogenetic relationships within the genus Linum, the ontogenesis, and the mechanisms of the response of flax plants to various stress factors.

Ecological genetics. 2020;18(1):103-124
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