Dmitri Ivanovsky

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Dmitri Ivanovsky
Ivanovsky ca. 1915
Born (1864-10-28)October 28, 1864
Village of Nizy, Gdov Uyezd, St. Petersburg Governorate, Russian Empire
Died June 20, 1920(1920-06-20) (aged 55)
Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Nationality Russian
Alma mater University of St Petersburg
Known for Tobacco mosaic virus
Scientific career
Fields Virology
Institutions University of St Petersburg
University of Warsaw
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Donskoy University
Doctoral advisor Andrei Famintsyn
Influences Adolf Mayer
Influenced Wendell Stanley

Dmitri Iosifovich Ivanovsky (alternative spelling Dmitrii or Dmitry Iwanowski; Russian: Дми́трий Ио́сифович Ивано́вский; October 28, 1864 – June 20, 1920) was a Russian botanist, the discoverer of viruses (1892) and one of the founders of virology.[1][2][3][4][5]

Ivanovsky studied at the University of St Petersburg under Andrei Famintsyn in 1887, when he was sent to Ukraine and Bessarabia to investigate a tobacco disease causing great damage to plantations located there at the time. Three years later, he was assigned to look into a similar disease occurrence of tobacco plants, this time raging in the Crimea region. He discovered that both incidents of disease were caused by an extremely minuscule infectious agent, capable of permeating porcelain Chamberland filters, something which bacteria could never do. He described his findings in an article (1892)[6] and a dissertation (1902).[7] Then he worked in Warsaw and Rostov-on-Don.

In 1898, the Dutch microbiologist Martinus Beijerinck independently replicated Ivanovsky's experiments and became convinced that the filtered solution contained a new form of infectious agent, which he named virus. Beijerinck subsequently acknowledged Ivanovsky's priority of discovery.[2]


  1. ^ Lechevalier, Hubert (1972). "Dmitri Iosifovich Ivanovski (1864–1920)" (PDF). Bacteriological Reviews. Washington, D.C.: American Society for Microbiology. 36 (2): 135–45. ISSN 0005-3678. PMC 408320Freely accessible. PMID 4557165. Retrieved October 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Lustig, A.; Levine, A. J. (August 1992). "One hundred years of virology". Journal of Virology. 66 (8): 4629–31. PMC 241285Freely accessible. PMID 1629947. 
  3. ^ Bos, L. (1995). "The Embryonic Beginning of Virology: Unbiased Thinking and Dogmatic Stagnation". Archives of Virology. 140: 613–619. doi:10.1007/bf01718437. ISSN 0304-8608. 
  4. ^ Zaitlin, Milton (1998). "The Discovery of the Causal Agent of the Tobacco Mosaic Disease" (PDF). In Kung, S. D.; Yang, S. F. Discoveries in Plant Biology. Hong Kong: World Publishing Co. pp. 105–110. ISBN 978-981-02-1313-8. 
  5. ^ Sebastion, Anton (2001). A dictionary of the history of science. Google Books Excerpt: Informa Health Care. p. 267. ISBN 9781850704188. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  6. ^ Iwanowski, D. (1892). "Über die Mosaikkrankheit der Tabakspflanze". Bulletin Scientifique publié par l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de Saint-Pétersbourg / Nouvelle Serie III (in German and Russian). St. Petersburg. 35: 67–70.  Translated into English in Johnson, J., Ed. (1942) Phytopathological classics (St. Paul, Minnesota: American Phytopathological Society) No. 7, pp. 27–-30.
  7. ^ Iwanowski, D. (1903). "Über die Mosaikkrankheit der Tabakspflanze". Zeitschrift für Pflanzenkrankheiten und Pflanzenschutz (in German). 13: 1–41. 


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