ISSN 10227954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2011, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 251–252. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2011.
Original Russian Text © The Editorial Board, 2011, published in Genetika, 2011, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 284–285.
February 5, 2011 is the 70th birthday of Alexei
Petrovich Ryskov, Corresponding Member of the Rus
sian Academy of Sciences, a prominent researcher in
molecular biology and molecular genetics.
The pathway of A.P. Ryskov in science is marked by
his wide range of interests and important achieve
ments in several directions of research.
After his graduation from the Faculty of Chemistry,
Moscow State University, A.P. Ryskov was admitted to
the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Rus
sian Academy of Sciences (then Institute of Radia
tional and Physicochemical Biology), at the labora
tory headed by Academician G.P. Georgiev, where he
later advanced from probationer to leading researcher.
From 1990 until the present, A.P. Ryskov has been
heading the Laboratory of Genome Organization at
the Institute of Gene Biology, Russian Academy of
In 1971, A.P. Ryskov has defended the candidate
dissertation, and in 1979, the doctoral dissertation.
Both were devoted to the problem of the structural
organization of informational RNA nuclear precur
sors in cells of higher eukaryotes. The primary result of
these studies is the discovery of long palindromic
nucleotide sequences in premRNA and cell DNA.
These works were continued by geneengineering
studies of palindromic DNAs. As a result, mobile ele
ments (short retrotransposons) of the mouse genome,
B1 and B2, were discovered. In 1983, this study was
awarded the State Prize of the Soviet Union.
These outstanding results determined the original
direction of A.P. Ryskov’s research in the structural–
functional organization of the eukariotic genome and
became classical. According to ISI, at that time
A.P. Ryskov was among the 100 most frequently cited
Soviet scientists (Curr. Comm., 1990, no. 24, pp. 5–13).
A.P. Ryskov is the founder of genomic fingerprint
ing studies in Russia. He has disovered a special family
of universal hypervariable DNA repeats in human,
animal, plant, and microbial genomes. The results of
these studies have been employed in both resolving
fundamental problems of biodiversity and applied and
practical fields of criminal investigation, forensic
medicine, microbiology, parasitology, biotechnology,
ecology, and wildlife protection. In 1996, A.P. Ryskov
was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation
for this work.
In the recent years, the scientific interests of
A.P. Ryskov are focused on the structuralfunctional
and evolutionary genomics of various taxonomic
groups. A significant contribution was the unique pio
neering results in the genomics of parthenogenetic
reptile species of the genus
, which had been
first described by the prominent Russian zoologist
I.S. Darevsky. In the genome of these reptile species,
A.P. Ryskov has found hypervariable genetically
unstable loci. The high variability of these loci was
Alexei Petrovich Ryskov