Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian-US geneticist

Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian-US geneticist

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Credit: GARY BROWN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975). Caricature of the Russian-American geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky. Dobzhansky linked Darwin's evolution theory with Mendel's laws of hereditary. He studied the genes of the fruit fly, Drosophila sp, and found a greater variability than expected. He found a high proportion of flies had debilitating genes which were masked by the presence of a dominant 'normal' gene. He showed that the presence of a masked debilitating gene was advantageous as it allowed a population to be more versatile in adapting to a changing environment. Dobzhansky wrote many influential books, including Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937).

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