1022-7954/04/4004- © 2004
Russian Journal of Genetics, Vol. 40, No. 4, 2004, pp. 458–460. Translated from Genetika, Vol. 40, No. 4, 2004, pp. 569–571.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2004 by Zakharov, Kiknadze.
Academician Vladimir Konstantinovich Shumny,
Professor, Doctor of Biological Sciences, the head of
the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian
Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is 70 on
February 12, 2004. Shumny is a world-renowned
researcher in genetics and the genetic basis of plant
breeding, as well as an organizer of research in life sci-
ences at large scale in Siberia.
Shumny’s research activities lie in the ﬁelds of top-
ical problems of genetics and breeding, such as polyp-
loidy, heterosis, and distant hybridization of plants.
Together with his colleagues and disciples, he has stud-
ied in detail the genetic basis of the plant reproductive
systems, the genetics of the symbiotic interaction
between nitrogen-ﬁxing bacteria and plants, and the
genetics of balanced mineral nutrition of plants.
Shumny has initiated and supervised studies on cellular
and genetic engineering of plants.
Shumny started his research activities with the
development of methods for polyploidization of corn
and creation of the ﬁrst Russian polyploid hybrids.
Afterwards, he studied the mechanisms of interaction
between alleles and the physical and chemical mecha-
nisms of heterosis, developed the models for studying
the effects of heterosis and overdominance, and
obtained original data on the mechanisms of overdom-
inance based on monogenic mutations. A mutation of
the gene encoding nitrate reductase, the key enzyme of
nitrogen metabolism in plants, was obtained and com-
prehensively studied in the course of this research.
By organizing and heading the research program
“Lysine,” Shumny supervised research in one of the
most important problems of plant genetics aimed at
obtaining plant proteins containing balanced amounts
of essential amino acids, as well as in the genetics of
nitrogen nutrition of plants.
The data on plant reproductive systems that Shumny
and his colleagues obtained allowed them to develop
methods for overcoming genetic incompatibility in
some species, reveal the reserves of genetic diversity,
and create, on this basis, valuable collections of plant
lines. Interesting experimental models demonstrating
the possibility of changing the type of reproduction in
some plant species have been developed.
Shumny is supervising long-term integrated studies
on distant hybridization of cereal plants. These studies
have already yielded interspeciﬁc and intergeneric
hybrids and forms with substitution or addition of indi-
vidual chromosomes. Alloplasmic lines have been
obtained, in which the cytoplasm of one genus of cereal
plants is combined with the genome of another, e.g., the
cytoplasm of barley with the genome of rye or wheat.
These lines are unique models for studying the interac-
tion between the nuclear genome and the genomes of
mitochondria and chloroplasts. Combination of cellular
engineering and plant breeding methods made it possi-
ble to obtain unique combinations of barley–rye and
barley–wheat hybrids, which are of considerable
importance for cytogenetic and breeding studies.
Shumny has initiated and is currently supervising stud-
ies on the molecular genetic analysis of the genomes of
During the past decade, Shumny started studies on
modiﬁcation of plant genomes with the use of cell cul-
tures and genetic engineering methods. Transgenic
plants whose genomes contain foreign genes have been
obtained, which makes it possible to study the dynam-
ics of the expression of incorporated genes depending
on their chromosome location, genetic environment,
copy number, and other factors. Instability of the
expression of foreign genes has been demonstrated, and
the speciﬁc characteristics of the effect of transgenic
Academician Vladimir Konstantinovich Shumny
(On His 70th Birthday and the 45th Anniversary
of the Beginning of His Scientific Activities)