Moscow; Leningrad: Novaya Derevnia, 1929. Item #1867
V.1: 159 pp.: ill., 25 pl. 32x23 cm. In original cloth with colored lettering. Fine condition, with deckle edges, some shelfwear, few ink stains, ink inscription on t.p.
First and only edition. One of 3000 copies. All the colored drawings of fruits were created by I. Pishchalkin.
The book contains Michurin’s report on the work done by him in his 50 years as the plant breeder. In his lifetime he created more than 300 new hybrids of plants.
Ivan Michurin (1855-1935), the biologist and the plant breeder, is regarded to be one of the founders of the Soviet school of genetics. Although most of his work was practical, by experimenting with the hybrids and different variations of the plants, he created the material for the theory.
Michurin made a major contribution to the development of genetics, especially in the field of pomology. In his cytogenetic laboratory, he researched cell structure and experimented with artificial polyploidy. Michurin studied the aspects of heredity in connection with the natural course of ontogenesis and external influence, creating a whole new concept of predominance. He proved that predominance depends on heredity, ontogenesis, and phylogenesis of the initial cell structure and also on individual features of hybrids and conditions of cultivation. In his works, Michurin assumed a possibility of changing genotype under external influence (Wikipedia).
Michurin had the full support of Lenin, so he was allowed to breed the plants on the vast farm close to Tambov. For Soviet officials, it was crucial to support his work as they saw it in light of agricultural demands of the country. As a result, many of Michurin’s hybrids started to be cultivated nationwide.
Unfortunately, Michurin’s name was used by Trofim Lysenko (1898-1978), who was the main ideologist of Lysenkoism – the movement, that proclaimed genetics a fake science, and as a result in the mid-1930s onwards genetics was banned in USSR. Michurin himself never denied genetics as science but merely disagreed with some of Mendel’s postulates. Even in the preface for this book, written by biologist Boris Keller (1874-1945), it stated that the theory of genetics and the practical work of Michurin go in parallel and contribute to each other.
Worldcat shows paper copies located in LoC, Illinois, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Cornell, Brown Universities, the Claremont Colleges.