The outstanding embryologist Boris Ivanovich Balinsky (1905–1997) worked in the Soviet Union up to 1941 and in South Africa since 1949. His experimental studies fulfilled during the Soviet period of his scientific career mainly on the embryos of the caudate amphibians are widely known. After moving to Africa (Johannesburg), he continued the research of amphibian development, with using those possibilities, which were offered by the diverse fauna of local Anura. Other embryologists started complex studies of tropical frog ontogenies (mainly from South and Central America) 30–40 years later than Balinsky. Unfortunately, his pioneering works on numerous African species are poorly known (with the exceptions of the description of the development of endodermal derivatives in Xenopus laevis and the analysis of limb induction in the toad genus Amietophrynus). In this paper, the works of Balinsky are analyzed (with the emphasis on comparative and ecological aspects) and his priority in using of “nonmodel” tropical and subtropical anurans in embryological studies has been shown.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 26, 2014
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