(19 March 1888 – 6 July 1959)

Nikolay Aleksandrovich Naumov - known in the world Russian botanist, outstanding mycologist and phytopathologist. He was born in St Petersburg on 19 March 1888.

N.A. Naumov got secondary education at May Gymnasium. In 1906 he entered the Faculty of Physics & Mathematics of St Petersburg University (Department of Natural Sciences). Being a student of third year of study N.A. Naumov began to investigate morphology and systematics of cryptogamic plants at the Laboratory of Cryptogamic Plants directed by Professor Kh. Gobi. Scientific outlook of N.A. Naumov was forming under the influence this scientist. In 1910 N.A. Naumov defended master's work "To the question of zygospore formation in mucoraceous moulds", which was published the same year.

Subsequently N.A. Naumov published a number of works on ecology, nomenclature, systematics and methods of investigation of mucoraceous moulds (1916, 1917, 1922, 1924, 1927). Besides, he wrote two monographs "Tables for identification of Mucoraceae" (1915) and "Guide for identification of mucoraceous molds" (1935). At first the last book was distributed as a manuscript in different countries of Europe and in America in view of the fact of its great demand, and shortly after it was issued in France as a separate volume (1939) of series "Encyclopedie Micologique".

In 1910 the Department of Agriculture sent N.A. Naumov to the Bureau on Mycology and Phytopathology of Scientific Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture directed by Professor A.A. Yachevsky. At first N.A. Naumov was junior scientist and fulfilled the duties of curator of herbarium, then he became the scientist. The Bureau was reorganized at first into the Department of Mycology and Phytopathology (1917), and then, since summer 1929 it was the part of the All-Union Institute of Plant Protection (AIPP).

In 1919 on N.A. Naumov's initiative was organized the Phytopathological Station at Tsarskoye Selo and he held the position of the head of the Station till 1931.

In 1930 N.A. Naumov got assignation as a head of Phytopathological Department of the All-Union Institute of Plant Protection. Then he leaded different scientific directions in different laboratories (ecology, phytotoxicology, investigation of cereal rust etc). Since 1935 till 1954 N.A. Naumov permanently headed Yachevsky Mycological Laboratory.

Scientific work of N.A. Naumov was multifarious. He thoroughly studied a number of dangerous diseases of agricultural crops: scab of grains, club root, potato canker and powdery scab, rust of cereals etc. Studying plant diseases N.A. Naumov put in a forefront the revealing of etiology and specification of systematic position of pathogen fungi. The results of these investigations were published in different editions. So, the comprehensive analysis of disease agent "Potato canker - the most dangerous disease of potato plant" was presented by N.A. Naumov as the part of the book prepared by many authors "Potato canker" (1940). N.A. Naumov was one of the first in the world phytopathology, who substantiated the mechanism of action of fungicides. N.A. Naumov wrote a number of works, devoted to the problem of plant immunity, in particular - artificial immunization of plants by means of chemicals. N.A. Naumov contributed much in the development of the theory of parasitism in fungi. He examined the main types of parasitism and manifestation of appropriate characteristic in fungi of different taxonomic groups.

N.A. Naumov was well known in the world as mycoflorist and expert in mucoraceous moulds. Still being a student N.A. Naumov commence on the investigations of mycoflora of St Petersburg outskirts and Luga region (Krasnye Gory) and continued this work till the end of his life. The materials collected in the course of these investigations served as a basis for more then 20 articles (since 1913 till 1951) and for two books "Fungus Flora of the Leningrad region" (1954, 1964) from three planned. The first volume of "Fungi Flora ..." was devoted to Archimycetes and Phycomycetes, the second one, edited posthumously - to Discomycetes.

N.A. Naumov studied also mycoflora of other regions of Russia and the former Soviet Union during numerous expeditions: Kursk, Tula province - 1911; Primorsky krai - 1912; the Ural - 1913; the Crimea- 1927; Central Asia - 1929; Ukraine - 1938; Georgia (Adzharia) - 1948.

He continued to collect fungi even during the Great Patriotic war at the regions, where he was in evacuation: in 1942 - in Arkhangelsk region (Kotlassky district) and in 1943-1944 - in Altai krai (Pavlovsk).

N.A. Naumov was the author of numerous new taxa, among which more then 200 new species and varieties, and 25 new genera. In the 1950s N.A. Naumov organized the collection of information on new species and genera of fungi, described by mycologists of the country, and created the preliminary list of fungi - 1200 species and about 100 genera - which was prolongation of "Sylloge fungorum" of P.A. Saccardo. In that way he supported the idea, expressed in 1921 by A.A. Yachevsky.

In his investigation of fungi systematics N.A. Naumov applied a comparative-morphological approach. Besides of works on mucoraceous mould systematics (1935) he conducted systematical elaboration of some taxonomic groups of fungi for "Guide for identification of lower plants" (under the general editorship of L.I. Kursanov). For the third volume of the edition (1954) he worked up materials on subclass Eu-Ascomycetes (pyrenomycetes and discomycetes), for the fourth volume (1956) - family Clavariaceae and order Gasteromycetales.

The number of N.A. Naumov's work, devoted to the general theoretical questions of mycology, did not loose actuality till the present time. So, in the article "On some present-day questions of mycology" (1950) he pointed out to necessity of the elaboration of natural classification of fungi, in which phylogenetic relationships would be reflected. He also underlined the importance of investigation of fungi variability and revealing of the range of variability under different conditions (in nature, in laboratory).

N.A. Naumov regarded morphological traits as determinant ones in fungi systematics and for additional description he proposed to use data on biology, physiology, biochemistry and ontogenesis. N.A. Naumov generalized his huge experimental material and experience in fundamental works " Methods of microscopic investigations in phytopathology" (1932) and " Methods of mycological and phytopathological investigations" (1937), which became for many years indispensable manual for scientists, working in these fields. Moreover, N.A. Naumov was the author of original textbooks and handbooks on general and agricultural phytopathology (issued since 1917 till 1952, some of them were republished). Some textbooks were edited not only in Russian, but also in languages of other nations of the Former Soviet Union, in Polish and Chinese.

Altogether N.A. Naumov wrote more then 120 scientific and popular scientific works. N.A. Naumov was reviewer of many scientific works, including posthumous editions of A.A. Yachevsky "Fundamentals of Mycology" (1933) and "Bacterioses of Plants" (1935). "Handbook of Agronomist on Plant Protection" (1948) was published under his edition and direct participation.

N.A. Naumov contributed much to the preparation of skilled specialists in mycology, lecturing phytopathology and mycology during 38 years in different educational institutions. By way of postgraduate training courses of Leningrad University, All-Union Institute of Plant Protection and Leningrad Agricultural Institute he founded his school of progeny and followers, which numbers more then 120 highly skilled specialists: corresponding members, Doctors and Candidates of Science. His carrier as a teacher started with lecturing in 1911 at Agricultural Museum of St Petersburg. Then N.A. Naumov was repeatedly the head of the Chair of Plant Pathology at different higher educational institutions (Stebutov Women's Agricultural Courses, Petrograd Agronomic Institute, Institute of Applied Zoology and Phytopathology).

N.A. Naumov was an active member of different scientific societies in Russia and abroad, kept international contacts (promoted by knowledge of few foreign languages), made numerous business trips abroad (Switzerland - 1913, Holland, Germany - 1928). N.A. Naumov was a member of permanent international commissions on nomenclature questions. At VII International Botanical Congress he was elected the vice-president of Mycological Section.

Some taxa of fungi were named by N.A. Naumov: 3 new genera - Naumovela Kravtz., Naumovia Dobrozr., Naumoviella Novot. and more then 20 new species - Amphisphaereia naumovii Gucev., Didymosporium naumovii Gutner, Heteropatella naumovii Negru and others.

N.A. Naumov was characterized by enormous diligence and devotion to science. During the war in evacuation, besides carrying on floristic investigations, he prepared fundamental works "Guide for identification of agricultural plant diseases" and "Textbook of Latin for biologists". The last book was not published, but students of Leningrad State University for a long time used the manuscript variant.

N.A. Naumov was a Doctor of biological and agricultural sciences, Professor, the corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1946), Laureate of Lenin Prize (1954). For fruitful scientific work N. A. Naumov was awarded high government awards - Order of Lenin, Order "Mark of Honour" and medals.

N.A. Naumov died in the village Turrovka (Leningrad region) on 6 July 1959.

This page is a brief synopsis of the article about N.A. Naumov by L.I. Berestetskaya (8 pp).

Lists. Publications. Taxa. Kirk & Ansell form of name: Naumov.

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Naumov

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