The law of homologous series of Nikolay Vavilov

As part of our new project “Kapitza Rutherford”, dedicated to the relations between the Russian and British science, biologist Igor Loskutov says PostNuke about finding a natural and artificial morphological traits of cultivated plants.

Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov was born in Moscow in 1887. In 2017, we celebrated its 130th anniversary. Childhood and youth passed him in Moscow. He graduated from the Moscow agricultural Institute and later was distributed in the Saratov agricultural Institute, Professor of genetics, agriculture and other disciplines. In 1920 he became head of the Department of applied botany, which was at that time in Petrograd. And from that moment he begins to collect their collections, which led to what was collected completely unique Vavilov collection. In 1913, while still studying at the Moscow agricultural Institute, he was sent on a two-year internship in a foreign country. The first year he had to train in Europe, in the second year he had to go to America. But, unfortunately, the First world war, and he returned to Russia. But the main purpose of his trip was the United Kingdom. He really wanted to work with William Batson.

William Batson at the time the oldest geneticist Europe and the world. We call him the Patriarch of genetics, because the word “genetics” was coined by Batson. He at that time was headed by the horticultural Institute of great Britain and Vavilov most of his training in the UK is conducting in the laboratory of Batson. In addition to Batson’s Vavilov probation at that time by other specialists, such as Panet, Blackman and others. Most of his time he spends in the library of Charles Darwin.

The law of homologous series of Nikolay Vavilov

Returning to Russia, Vavilov embraced the idea of Batson’s and moved them to his subject of study — it was a cultural plant collection which he began collecting in the UK has continued to collect in the Saratov agricultural Institute, and of course, the greatest success he achieved when he became the head of Department of applied botany.

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The law of homological rows in hereditary variability Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov has formulated and reported at the Third Congress of breeders in 1920 in Saratov. All the participants of the meeting called by Mendeleev Vavilov in biology. And it was clear, as the law of homological rows predicted: those characteristics that we can find and see from cultural or other types of plants at the present time, we can either find in nature or create them artificially. This was the genius of Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov. On the basis of morphological features, which is not always possible to clearly identify the plant, as they mostly depend on external conditions, Vavilov was able to find the link between different characteristics, which can be found in various plants.

The main provisions of the law were formulated by Nikolay Ivanovich Vavilov, and at the time they sounded like this: the closer the species in its genetic nature, the closer to each other, their rows of hereditary variability. If we can find one feature in species of the same genus, some such signs we can find similar species of the same genus or species of another kind. For example, if we take the crops have a sign of ostectomy, we will see that awnedness have soft wheat, durum wheat, barley, oats and other crops.

Vavilov has confirmed the law of homological series in the case of baslehurst. Baslehurst is an attribute that characterizes some cereals, this is the place of transition of leaf blade to leaf sheath. This place is usually formed padding. Beligerent describes that such hauling in plants is missing. Bezrigelny such forms were found in the Pamirs in wheat. But Vavilov in the Caucasus were found bezrigelny rye. After Vavilov bezrigelny forms on other crops has been found in almost all members of those species such as corn, rice, millet, sorghum, already followers of Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov.

Genes that control homologous traits in different species, can be represented as a formula. The formula is repeated signs that multiplied by some factor: species factor, either for the generic factor, or at a family ratio of these species. Naturally, these signs can differ from each other. Vavilov’s genius was in the fact that he wasn’t talking about the same, and homologous characteristics. They can be manifested for example in different parts of the plant. For example, the spine may be not only on the flowering glumes from the grain crops, in particular, but also on the spikelet. They are not the same characteristics, because are formed on different parts of the plant. But they are homologous characteristics that can occur in related plants of different genera.

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The law of homological rows, which was formulated in 1920, have been published by Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov. The first report was published in the proceedings of the Third Congress of breeders. In 1922 he published his article in the UK. Then it is already on an enlarged scale appears in the “Theoretical basis of selection”, which Vavilov began publishing in 1935.

The law of homological rows, we’re talking about, have not lost their significance to this day. The thing that we talked about the genes that control these homologous signs. Modern development of genetics has proven that not only do these genes control homologous traits, but these genes are located on homologous chromosomal regions of related species. So, for example, it was shown that genes that control photoperiod, are located on homologous chromosomal regions in wheat, rye and barley. Also in the future, this theory has been used not only in genetics but also in genomics of plants. The thing is that the genomes of similar species, in particular cereals, have the same structure. Therefore, those genes that control homologous traits, while at the homologous chromosomal regions, and the structure of the genomes of these plants have the same structure, and therefore this characteristic can be used in the present time.

The law of homologous series of Nikolay Vavilov

Now it is used very widely in the use of molecular markers in the study of breeding or genetic issues of the plant. The thing is that homologous genes (or, as they are called, orthology) is a very important part of the study of the molecular structure of different genotypes of plants. If we define molecular markers of some gene, then we can define the same orthological gene (the gene that controls the same trait) are the same markers and other kind of plants. For the present time it is very important.

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Model object for study of plant genetics is Arabidopsis thaliana. Genes that identifitseerida from Arabidopsis and control certain characteristics and the same molecular markers can be used in the study of these signs on other types of plants that can be related to the Arabidopsis or slightly differ from it. Arabidopsis thaliana is very convenient for genetic research plant. It can be called a cash cow genetics, where, as in Drosophila, various model experiments. Most studies on the genetics, genomics and various studies associated with plants, start on the Arabidopsis.

Currently, this law is working and is the fundamental law not only of genetics but also in genomics. He says that we need to collect on the globe. That is, Vavilov predicted some specific characteristics, which we currently can’t find in nature certain species of plants. So, we have these forms that possess such characteristics can either collect in nature or created artificially by genetic or biotechnological methods.

Doctor of biological Sciences, Professor, head. the Department of oat, rye and barley all-Russian Institute of plant im. N. And. Vavilova, curator of the collection of oats, scientific Keeper of the Memorial office-Museum of N. And. Vavilov.


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