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Vavilov Nikolai Ivanovich

The Russian botanist and geneticist Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov (1887-1943) served early on as a professor at the Agricultural Institute of Leningrad. In 1927 he presented his so-called "gene centre theory" on the basis of impressions gained during worldwide collecting trips. This theory assumes that there are centres on earth with a considerable diversity of cultivated plants. He pointed out that these gene centres largely coincide with the areas of origin of arable farming and the first advanced civilizations. Today, the eight "classical" gene centres are still considered to be Central America, parts of Peru and Chile, the Mediterranean region and parts of the Middle East, India, as well as former Indochina and southern China

This theory is also related to the emergence of cultivated grape varieties, whose genetic centre is said to be located in Transcaucasia, among other places. However, this gene centre theory was then critically expanded by other scientists. During his numerous research trips, Vavilov also devoted himself to research into the descent of wild vines. He distinguished from the European vine species Vitis vinifera the subspecies Vitis vinifera ssp. caucasica Vavilov (Caucasian wild vine, also called Danube wild vine), which was named after him. It is considered a regional expression of the subspecies Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris Gmelin. However, the part of the name "Vavilov" is mostly omitted. See also under Asian vines, European vines and vine systematics, and a list of relevant keywords under vine.

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