(23 May 1867 – 1940)

Georgy Adamovich Nadson - prominent scientist - devoted all his life to investigation of lower microscopic plants, including fungi. He was born on 23 May 1867 (in the old calendar).

In 1889 G.A. Nadson graduated from Saint-Petersburg University with golden medal. His teachers were Academicians A.S. Famintsyn and I.P. Borodin. Since 1895 till 1900 G.A. Nadson gave lectures in mycology (for the first time for the University). Simultaneously, since 1897 and for more then 30 years G.A. Nadson was a professor on botany and microbiology at Women Medical Institute (now the First Pavlov Leningrad Medical Institute); since 1899 till 1930 G.A. Nadson headed the Library of Botanical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Since 1918 till 1937 he directed the work of Botanical-Microbiological Laboratory of the State Institute of Roentgenology, Radiology and Cancer.

In 1930 G.A. Nadson headed the Laboratory of microbiology, and since 1934 - the Institute of Microbiology the USSR Academy of Sciences.

In 1895 G.A. Nadson conferred the degree of master. In 1903 he took Doctor's degree on Botany. In 1928 G. . Nadson was elected the corresponding member and in 1929 - the full member of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

G.A. Nadson was characterized as a scientist with broad interests and great erudition. G.A. Nadson and his progeny systematically and profoundly studied algae, fungi, actinomycetes and bacteria. Due to these investigations, the science has been enriched by knowledge on morphology cytology, biology, physiology and systematics of above-named organisms. The elaboration of the problem "micro-organisms as geological agents" allowed to reveal factors of medicinal mud formation. Investigation of drilling algae and their significance allowed to determine the nature of calcium circulation; works on the metabolism in some microorganisms help to find new sources of organic substances and to demonstrate the possibilities of their wide use in practice (yeast, algae etc.).

G.A. Nadson paid the special attention to microscopic fungal organisms - yeast (which consequently became as "experimental frog " in some of his studies). The main problems, which he elaborated with his progeny, were influence of environmental factors on micro-organisms, variability of micro-organisms and their cellular metabolism. These tasks and subjects occupied the central place in scientific works of G.A. Nadson.

It is worthwhile to mention some of G.A. Nadson's works on fungi: "On fungal pigments" (1891), "Luminescent fungi " (1900), "To the question of influence of light on fungi development" (1906), "On new genus of yeast fungus Guilliermondia with heterogamous copulation" (G.A. Nadson & A.G. Konokotina, 1911), "Little-known edible fungi and notes on edible and poisonous fungi in general" (1918), "Album of edible and poisonous fungi" (1920), "Spicaria purpurogenes n.sp. To the question of antagonism of fungi and bacteria as facilities of protection and attack" (G.A. Nadson & A.Y. Zhalkevich, 1922), "The leakage of trees and its mycoflora" (1923), "On reversibility of the development in yeast" (G.A. Nadson & N.A. Krasilnikov, 1925), "Brewer's yeast as a food substance" (1925), "Yeast of the Arctic Ocean" (G.A. Nadson & G.K. Burgvits, 1931) etc.

Of great importance are works of G.A. Nadson devoted to the problem of fertilization in fungi. In his article "Sexual process in yeast and bacteria" (1911) G.A. Nadson, basing on his investigations of sporogenesis in some saccharomycetes, presented new data on heterogamous copulation in these sac fungi, and analysis of their systematics and phylogeny.

G.A. Nadson greatly interested in influence of radiation on living plant organisms. As far back as in 1920 he wrote: "How great was the impression and how deep was the influence of radium and radioactivity discovery on contemporary physics and chemistry - is more or less obvious to everyone... ...But, undoubtedly, one of the most important (if not the most important one) was discovery of phenomenon of explosive decay of atom". In his work "On influence of radium on yeast fungi within the scope of general problem of influence of radium on living matter" G.A. Nadson generalized vast literary material and original investigations and inferred principles of radiation influence on plants. He considered also such questions as significance of quality and dose of radiation, role of the age and level of differentiation of the organism as well as individual and species sensitivity etc.

G.A. Nadson developed this trend of scientific investigations at Botanical-Microbiological Laboratory of the State Institute of Roentgenology, Radiology and Cancer. Principles of biological effect of radiant energy were studied on different plant objects, mostly on fungi. Investigations of radium, X-rays and ultra-violet rays' influence demonstrated that the primary effect on plant cell was manifested in lipoprotein complex of protoplasm decay. As a result, successive stages and the character of intracellular changes were studied, factors influenced on radiosensibility of organisms were revealed. To this problem numerous publications of G. . Nadson and his colleagues were devoted. Among them are: "On stimulant effect of ultra-violet rays on yeast and molds development" (G.A. Nadson & G.S. Filippov, 1927), "On effect of X-rays on protoplasm, nucleus and chondriome of plant cell under observations "in vivo" (G.A. Nadson & E.Y. Rokhlina, 1934) etc.

As early as in 1920 G.A. Nadson ascertained that effect of rays' impact on micro-organisms could be inherited by next generations. It could be mentioned that all these investigations were of great importance and, particularly, the discovery (together with G.S. Filippov in 1925) of mutagenic effect of solar energy on fungi. As is well known, American scientist G. Meller described influenced by X-rays mutations in fruit fly in 1927, i.e. later, then report of G.A. Nadson and G.S. Fillipov. So, the priority of the discovery pertained to Soviet scientists. G.A. Nadson published a great number of papers on experimental mutagenesis under radiant energy impact, including: "On formation of new steady yeast and moulds under X-ray impact" (G.A. Nadson & G.S. Filippov, 1928), "Formation of new steady races under under X-rays' impact. II. Descriptions of races Sporobolomyces" (G.A. Nadson & G.S. Filippov, 1931), "Radioraces of yeast and their practical significance" (G.A. Nadson & E.Y. Rochlina, 1933). Later on G.A. Nadson and his progeny experimentally proved the possibility of mutations in fungi under influence of other factors - high and low temperatures, chemical and biological preparations (chloroform, cyanic and thiocyanid compounds, hormone preparations etc). G.A. Nadson presented these data in the report "Experimental change of hereditary properties of microorganisms" at Annual Meeting of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1935.

Rules of natural and experimental mutability (variability) of micro-organisms were studied on vast material during long period of time. G.A. Nadson studied different types of variability, ways of formation of new races of microorganisms, practical significance use of the last. Views of G.A. Nadson on this problems were presented in the report "Problem of variability of microorganisms, its theoretical and practical significance" (1931) and some other papers. G.A. Nadson introduced into scientific literature terms "saltation" and "saltants" for organisms without definite chromosomal apparatus. G.A. Nadson demonstrated, that study of experimental and natural formation of races leads to understanding of the process of micro-organism evolution. He and his progeny A.A. Imshenetsky, N.A. Krasilnikov, V.I. Kudriavtsev, M.N. Meyseland others, proved groundlessness of cyclogeny teaching, developed by foreign scientists Lennis, Enderlain, Hedly and others, which reduces all variability to developmental cycle stages, always returning to the initial form.

No doubt, that works of G.A. Nadson on variability gave the powerful incentive to the development of teaching on variability in science not only in the former Soviet Union but also abroad.

The significance of G.A. Nadson's works are evident - they did not become obsolete till the present day, moreover, their main trends continue to develop not only in Russia, but also abroad. Ideas of G.A. Nadson have passed ahead current concepts of his time. G.A. Nadson's views, which he expressed in the report "Microbiology and stratosphere " (1934) on the possibility of interplanetary travels of "microbes-emigrants" were in a sense foresights. G.A. Nadson interested very much in biological effect of cosmic rays and tried to define their role (investigating effects of metals at distance etc).

The bright talent, high politeness and erudition attracted to G.A. Nadson numerous followers and progeny, and gained for him favour and respect of scientists all over the world. It could be illustrated by the special fascicle of "Microbiological Journal"(1929), dedicated to G.A. Nadson in connexion with the 40th anniversary of his scientific work. Such famous scientists as B.L. Isachenko, N.G. Kholodny, A.A. Yachevsky, A. Gillermon, P. Lindner, S.A. Vaksman participated in this edition.

A.A. Yachevsky in 1929 described new species Helminthosporium nadsonii Jacz. and named it "after one of the most outstanding microbiologists - G.A. Nadson ". B.L. Isachenko (1929) named one of hyphomycetes singled out by him - Nadsoniella nigra Iss., describing in that way after G.A. Nadson the new genus Nadsoniella. Some new genera were named after G.A. Nadson Nadsonia (Sidov,1911); Nadsoniomyces (Kudriavtsev, 1932), After G.A. Nadson the group of yeast - tribe Nadsoniae was named by N.M. Shtelling-Dekker (1931). New taxa with the name of G.A. Nadson were described also by A. Gillermon (1918, 1921) and Burgviz (1936).

It should be mentioned the other spheres of creative activity of G.A. Nadson - his educational, managerial and publishing work. His contribution in the creation of research school is great. He approached very rigorously to the selection of scientific staff and regarded as essential criterion for researcher selfless devotion to the science. G.A. Nadson expected from his staff high professional level, accuracy in experiments, knowledge in detail the history of the problem under study and following higher principles in drawing conclusions. Those, who worked with G.A. Nadson had access to modern techniques and equipment. That's why "the school of G.A. Nadson " was very effective and increased scientific strength of the country, nursing the great number of scientists, among which - Academic, corresponding members of the USSR Academy of Sciences, doctors and candidates of sciences.

In 1937 G. A. Nadson was groundlessly repressed. In 1940 he died and was rehabilitated and restored in rights as Academician posthumously.

This page is a brief synopsys of the article "Academician Georgy Adamovich Nadson (to 100-year anniversary)" by N.S. Novotelnova, "Mycology & Phytopathology " (?, 6, 1967.- P. 508-510).

Lists. Taxa. Kirk & Ansell form of name: Nadson.

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