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Trofim Denisovich Lysenko. Portrait of the Russian biologist Trofim Denisovich Lysenko (1898-1976). Lysenko graduated from the Kiev Institute of Agriculture in 1925 and became concerned with the cultivation of new varieties of plants. He incorrectly believed that physical characteristics could be inherited through environmental control and denounced those geneticists (notably Mendel) who had maintained that such characteristics were innate. As Director of the Institute of Genetics of the USSR from 1940-65, he had Stalin's support, and controlled Soviet agricultural policy with disastrous consequences. Stalin's death heralded his decline and ultimate dismissal in 1965.
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