1022-7954/05/4102- © 2005 Pleiades Publishing, Inc.
Russian Journal of Genetics, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2005, pp. 217–219. Translated from Genetika, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2005, pp. 286–288.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2005 by Zakharov, Shumnyi.
February 25, 2005 was the 100th anniversary of Pro-
fessor Yurii Petrovich Miryuta, Doctor of Biology, an
outstanding geneticist, breeder, and teacher, one of the
brightest representatives of the Vavilov pleyade of plant
geneticists. Miryuta’s ﬁeld of scientiﬁc interests
encompassed polyploidy, heterosis, and reproduction
systems in plants. His studies were aimed at under-
standing heterosis in plants and ﬁxation of heterosis
through selective chromosome pairing in polyploids
(which is now known as Miryuta’s effect). In connec-
tion with obtaining heterosis hybrids, Miryuta studied
the problems related to selective fertilization, male
cytoplasmic sterility, its ﬁxation, and fertility restora-
tion. Miryuta put forward the concept of the alternation
between inbreeding and crossbreeding in plant popula-
Miryuta was born on February 25, 1905 in the
Matsievka village of the Priluki uezd (district) of the
Poltava gubernia (province). His mother was from a
farmer’s family; his father was a teacher in the village
school and a statistician of the district council.
Miryuta studied at Uman’ Agricultural Institute
(Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic). After graduat-
ing from the Horticultural Faculty in 1927, Miryuta
remained with the institute as an assistant professor of
the Department of Vegetable Breeding.
Beginning from 1930, Miryuta worked as a technical
manager of a large horticultural state farm in Donbass
and taught botany and horticulture in the Kamensk Agri-
cultural College. In 1930, Miryuta won a contest for the
position of an associate professor of Lugansk Vegetable
Institute, where he taught genetics and breeding of vege-
table plants. After Lugansk Vegetable Institute was reor-
ganized, Miryuta moved to Central Asian Fruit and Veg-
etable Institute, where he worked as the head of the
Department of Breeding and Seed Farming.
In 1933, Miryuta entered the postgraduate course in
general genetics at the All-Union Institute for Crop Pro-
duction (Leningrad). N.I. Vavilov wrote in the refer-
ence for the special postgraduate courses at the Acad-
emy of Sciences of the Soviet Union, “I know Mr.
Miryuta as an able worker and I am sure that he will be
an excellent researcher” (
Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov:
From the Epistolary Heritage of 1929–1940
Nauka, 1987, pp. 338–339). Miryuta performed some
interesting studies on the sex genetics in plants at the
postgraduate course of the All-Union Institute of Crop
Production. On the basis of the data obtained on the sex
genetic in dioecious plants, Miryuta developed a method
for breeding their monoecious varieties. Upon ﬁnishing
his study at the postgraduate course, Miryuta defended
the dissertation (Ph.D. thesis) on
The Inheritance of Sex
in Spinach and Hemp
and received the degree of the Can-
didate of Biological Sciences. M.A. Rozanova was the
ofﬁcial scientiﬁc supervisor of Miryuta’s dissertation.
Miryuta considered G.A. Levitskii and G.D. Karpech-
enko to be his mentors in science.
From 1937 to 1939, Miryuta headed the Laboratory
of Cytology and Genetics of the Research Institute of
Oil-Yielding Cultivated Plants in the city of Krasnodar.
While working there, he developed a method of indi-
vidual selection of cereals and oil-yielding plants and
put forward a theory on the hybridization mechanism of
In 1939, Miryuta, as a specialist in plant genetics
and breeding, was given the position of an associate
professor of the Department of Genetics of Gorky State
University. He was assigned to supervise students’ spe-
cialization in the genetics and breeding of plants.
S.S. Chetverikov was then the head of the Department
of Genetics of Gorky State University, and Z.S. Nikoro
and V.E. Fles also worked there.
In 1944, Miryuta moved to Odessa. He was the head
of the Department of Breeding and Seed Farming of the
Yurii Petrovich Miryuta (25 Feb. 1905–22 Oct. 1976):
On the 100th Anniversary of His Birth