Comparative Cytogenetics 4(2): 207-214, doi: 10.3897/compcytogen.v4i2.42
Intraspecific chromosome variability
N Dubinin, N Sokolov, G Tiniakov
Abstract (Editorial preface). The publication is presented in order to remind us of one of dramatic pages of the history of genetics. It re-opens for the contemporary reader a comprehensive work marking the priority change from plant cytogenetics to animal cytogenetics led by wide population studies which were conducted on Drosophila polytene chromosomes. The year of the publication (1937) became the point of irretrievable branching between the directions of Old World and New World genetics connected with the problems of chromosome variability and its significance for the evolution of the species. The famous book of T. Dobzhansky (1937) was published by Columbia University in the US under the title “Genetics and the origin of species”, and in the shadow of this American ‘skybuilding’ all other works grew dim. It is remarkable that both Dobzhansky and Dubinin come to similar conclusions about the role of chromosomes in speciation. This is not surprising given that they both might be considered as representatives of the Russian genetic school, by their birth and education. Interestingly, Dobzhansky had never referred to the full paper of Dubinin et al. (1937), though a previous short communication in Nature (1936) was included together with all former papers on the related subject. In full, the volume of the original publication printed in the Biological Journal in Moscow comprised 47 pages, in that number 41 pages of the Russian text accompanied by 16 Figs, a table and reference list, and, above all, 6 pages of the English summary. This final part in English is now reproduced in the authors’ version with the only addition being the reference list in the originally printed form.