ISSN 1022-7954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2006, Vol. 42, No. 7, pp. 829–830. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2006.
Original Russian Text © the Editorial Board, 2006, published in Genetika, 2006, Vol. 42, No. 7, pp. 1004–1005.
The year 2006 will witness the 100th anniversary of
Vera Fedorovna Lyubimova, a renowned specialist in
genetics and breeding, doctor of biology, and a winner
of the Vavilov Prize of the Academy of Sciences of the
Lyubimova was interested mainly in distant hybrid-
ization of plants. She devoted more than 40 years to
experimental generation of various forms and cultivars
and other intergeneric and
interspeciﬁc hybrids of cereals and to their cytogenetic,
breeding, and genetic studies. Lyubimova’s works
made an important contribution to the theory of distant
Lyubimova was born on July 23, 1906 in Tomsk to
an ofﬁcer’s family. She entered the Physico–Mathemat-
ical Department of Tomsk State University in 1926 and
was qualiﬁed in plant genetics, cytology, and breeding
in 1930. After graduation, she received an appointment
at the Omsk Zonal Agricultural Experimental Station
(from 1934, Siberian Institute of Zonal Agriculture).
This period of her life was rather dramatic: she worked
as a head of the Laboratory of Cytology and Radiology
of the institute from 1930 to 1933 and from 1936 to
1938 and was dismissed from her position in both
cases, although work of the laboratory was quite pro-
ductive. The ﬁrst dismissal was caused by Lyubimova’s
statement in support of V.R. Berg, who was the head of
the Department of Breeding and was repressed.
In 1933, Lyubimova returned to Tomsk after the dis-
missal from the Siberian Institute of Zonal Agriculture.
Circumstances run in her favor at ﬁrst: she was
accepted to work at the Tomsk Zonal Experimental Sta-
tion of Cereal Culture and entered a postgraduate
course at the Department of Genetic and Cytology of
Tomsk University. However, she was expelled soon (in
1936) because of her help to G.A. Levitskii, a promi-
nent geneticist and breeder who was exiled to Tomsk
In 1938, as cytological laboratories were closed in
breeding facilities, Lyubimova had to leave the institute
and move to the Kirghiz State Breeding Station, where
she worked to 1947. She collected a unique set of local
and geographically distinct cultivars of barley and
spring wheat, which made it possible to develop and
release several cultivars of barley (winter cultivar Kir-
gizskii 247 and spring cultivar Nutans 45) and spring
wheat (Ferrugineum 87 and others). At this station,
Lyubimova defended her candidate dissertation titled
“Barleys of Kirghizia.”
The most prolonged and fruitful period of Lyubi-
mova’s work was at the Main Botanical Garden of the
Academy of Sciences of the USSR (from 1948 to
1992), where she was invited to work as a senior
researcher at the Laboratory of Distant Hybridization
by N.V. Tsitsin. Lyubimova worked as a deputy head of
the laboratory for 16 years, headed the Laboratory of
Perennial and Grain Forage Wheat from 1973 to 1984,
and headed the Department of Distant Hybridization
after Tsitsin’s death (from 1981 to 1984).
In 1966, Lyubimova was given the degree of doctor
of biology for all her works.
As early as in her initial cytological studies with
hybrids, Lyubimova described the phe-
nomenon of partial allosynthesis of rye and
chromosomes, suggesting a principal possibility of
genes into the rye genome.
More recently (1985), such transgression was experi-
mentally veriﬁed at the Department of Distant Hybrid-
ization of the Main Botanical Garden.
Vera Fedorovna Lyubimova:
To the 100th Anniversary of Birth
(July 23, 1906–June 9, 2002)