1022-7954/02/3810- $27.00 © 2002
Russian Journal of Genetics, Vol. 38, No. 10, 2002, pp. 1217–1218. Translated from Genetika, Vol. 38, No. 10, 2002, pp. 1434–1435.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2002 by the Editorial Board.
Vera Fedorovna Lyubimova, Dr. Sci. (Biol.), passed
away on June 9, 2002, shortly before her 96th birthday.
Lyubimova was born on July 23, 1906, in the city of
Tomsk; her father was an ofﬁcer.
Lyubimova’s research work began after she gradu-
ated from Tomsk State University in 1930. Her career
may be divided into three periods: the Siberian period
(1930–1938); the Kyrgyz period (1938–1947); and the
Moscow period, which was the longest and most
The Siberian period was rather dramatic. Lyubi-
mova was appointed the head of the Laboratory of
Cytogenetics and Roentgenology of the Siberian
Research Institute of Agriculture (Omsk) two times
(she occupied the position from 1930 to 1933 and from
1936 to 1938) and was dismissed both times, although
the laboratory worked productively. In 1937, when
studying cytogenetics of rye-wheatgrass hybrids,
Lyubimova discovered allosyndesis between the rye
and wheatgrass chromosomes, which permitted the
assumption that wheatgrass genes could be trans-
gressed into the genome of rye. Afterwards (in 1985),
researchers at the Department of Distant Hybridization
of the Main Botanical Garden (MBG) experimentally
proved this assumption. Lyubimova was dismissed
because, acting according to her conscience and honor,
she supported V.R. Berg, the head of the Department of
Selection, who was arrested during the campaign of
In her native city, Tomsk, where Lyubimova
returned after she was dismissed from the Siberian
Research Institute of Agriculture for the ﬁrst time (in
1933), the situation seemed favorable at ﬁrst. Lyubi-
mova came to work at the Tomsk Zonal Experimental
Station of Arable Farming and became a postgraduate
student at the Department of Genetics and Cytology of
the Tomsk State University. However, she was soon (in
1936) dismissed from the postgraduate course because
of her help to G.A. Levitskii, a well-known geneticist
and cytologist who was exiled to Siberia.
The Kyrgyz period was more stable. Lyubimova
obtained employment at the Kyrgyz State Breeding
Station, which was afterwards reorganized to become
the Kyrgyz Research Institute of Agriculture. A unique
collection of barley and spring–wheat cultivars, both
local and from other regions, collected by Lyubimova
allowed her to obtain and acclimatize several cultivars
of barley (e.g., Kirgizskii-247 and Nutans) and spring
wheat (e.g., Ferrugineum-87) and to publish several
original theoretical studies. In this period, Lyubimova
defended her candidate dissertation
Barleys of Kirgiziya.
The Moscow period was the longest and most cre-
ative. In 1948, Lyubimova, on the proposition of
N.V. Tsitsin, began working at the Main Botanical Gar-
den of the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union.
She occupied the positions of a senior researcher at the
Laboratory of Distant Hybridization and a deputy head
of this laboratory until 1964.
In 1965, Lyubimova was awarded a doctoral degree
in biology for cumulative works in genetics and breed-
ing. In 1973–1988, she was the head of the Laboratory
of Perennial and Grain-and-Fodder Wheat of the
Department of Distant Hybridization. After the death of
N.V. Tsitsin, Lyubimova was also the head of the
Department of Distant Hybridization (in 1981–1984).
The main scientiﬁc interest of Lyubimova lay in the
ﬁeld of distant hybridization. She experimentally
Vera Fedorovna Lyubimova