The Info List - Armen Takhtajan

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Armen Leonovich Takhtajan
or Takhtajian (Armenian: Արմեն Լևոնի Թախտաջյան; Russian: Армен Леонович Тахтаджян; surname also transliterated Takhtadjan, Takhtadzhi︠a︡n
or Takhtadzhian, pronounced TAHK-tuh-jahn) (June 10, 1910 – November 13, 2009), was a Soviet-Armenian botanist, one of the most important figures in 20th century plant evolution and systematics and biogeography. His other interests included morphology of flowering plants, paleobotany, and the flora of the Caucasus. He was born in Shusha. He was one of the most influential taxonomists of the latter twentieth century.


1 Life

1.1 Family 1.2 Early life and education

2 Work

2.1 Takhtajan

3 Selected publications 4 Legacy 5 See also 6 References 7 Bibliography

7.1 Works by Takhtajan

8 External links

Life[edit] Family[edit]

Armen Takhtajan's father (left) and grandfather (right), appr. 1900

was born in Shusha, Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia
on 10 June 1910, to a family of Armenian intellectuals. His grandfather Meliksan Takhtadzhyan Petrovich had been born in Trabzon, Ottoman Empire but was educated in Italy, on the island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, an Armenian enclave and spoke many languages and worked as a journalist. He died in Paris in 1930. His father, Leon Meliksanovich Takhtadzhyan (1884–1950), was born in Batumi, Georgia was educated as an agronomist at Leipzig University. Graduating in 1906, he worked on farms in France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and made a special study of sheep farming. He became proficient in German, French, English, Russian, Georgian and Azerbaijani. Arriving in Shusha in 1908, then a centre of sheep farming in the Caucasus, looking for work, Leon was forced to teach German at the local Realschule
attached to the Armenian seminary, due to lack of opportunities in his chosen field. There he met and married Gazarbekyan Sergeevna Gerseliya (1887–1974), Armen Takhtajan's mother, a native of Susha, in 1909.[1][2] Early life and education[edit] The Takhtajans had three children, Armen (1910–2009), Nellie (1914–1994) and Nora (1918–1965). In 1918 the family were forced to flee to northern Armenia because of the pogroms. Throughout his childhood, Armen showed a keen interest in natural history, travelling with his father. Armen attended school in Tbilisi
in nearby Georgia, initially at Unified Labor School number 42 (former Mantashevskom commercial school). There he came under the influence of one of his teachers, Alexander Konstantinovich Makaev (Makashvili) (1896–1962), who had previously taught agriculture at Tbilisi
State University, and had produced a dictionary of botanical names in Georgian, Russian and Latin. Makaev would take Armen on botanical excursions, teaching him to identify plants from Sosnowski and Grossheim's "Determinants of plant life in the vicinity of Tbilisi" (1920). In 1928 he completed secondary school and travelled to Leningrad. There he volunteered at the biology school at Leningrad University
Leningrad University
and attended lectures by Vladimir Leontyevich Komarov
Vladimir Leontyevich Komarov
(1869–1945) on plant morphology. In 1929 he began his studies in biology at Yerevan State University
Yerevan State University
in Yerevan, Armenia, which he completed in 1931. He then returned to Tbilisi, enrolling in the All-Union Institute of Subtropical Crops.[1] In 1932 after completing his course at Tbilisi
he worked for a while as a laboratory assistant at Sukhumi, Georgia, at the subtropical branch of the All-Union Institute of Applied Botany
and New Crops (now the Institute of Plant
Industry), before returning to Yerevan. In Yerevan
he took a position as researcher at the Natural History Museum of Armenia, and then at the Herbarium of the Armenian branch of the Institute of Biology, Soviet Academy of Sciences, and began teaching at Yerevan
University in 1936, while completing his Master's thesis.[1] He died in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
on November 13, 2009, at the age of 99, in 2009, having just completed his most important work, Flowering Plants.[3][2] Work[edit] From 1938-48 he headed a Department at the Yerevan
State University, and from 1944-48 was director of the Botanical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR, and Professor of the Leningrad
State University. Takhtajan
was a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences since 1971. He was also the academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR, the president of the Soviet All-Union Botanical Society (1973) and the International Association for Plant
Taxonomy (1975), member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Literature (1971), the German Academy of Naturalists "Leopoldina" (1972) and other scientific societies.[4] While at the Komarov Botanical Institute in Leningrad
in 1940 Takhtajan
developed his classification scheme for flowering plants, which emphasized phylogenetic relationships between plants. His system did not become known to botanists in the West until after 1950, and in the late 1950s he began a correspondence and collaboration with the prominent American botanist Arthur Cronquist, whose plant classification scheme was heavily influenced by his collaboration with Takhtajan
and other botanists at Komarov. He is chiefly famous as the author of works on the origins of flowering plants and paleobotany, developing a new classification system of higher plants. He worked on the "Flora of Armenia" (vol. 1–6, 1954–73) and "Fossil flowering plants of the USSR
"(v. 1, 1974) books. Takhtajan
also developed a system of floristic regions.(Takhtajan, Crovello and Cronquist, 1986) For many years restrictions were placed on his work because of his opposition to the official line on genetics promoted by Lysenko.[5] In 1993 he worked for a while at the New York Botanical Garden.[5] Takhtajan
system[edit] Main article: Takhtajan
system The " Takhtajan
system" of flowering plant classification treats flowering plants as a division (phylum), Magnoliophyta, with two classes, Magnoliopsida
(dicots) and Liliopsida (monocots). These two classes are subdivided into subclasses, and then superorders, orders, and families. The Takhtajan system is similar to the Cronquist system, but with somewhat greater complexity at the higher levels. He favors smaller orders and families, to allow character and evolutionary relationships to be more easily grasped. The Takhtajan
classification system remains influential; it is used, for example, by the Montréal Botanical Garden. Selected publications[edit]

1948. Морфологическая эволюция покрытосеменных. [Translated from Russian to German by Werner Höppner, as Die evolution der angiospermae 1959, Fischer, Jena][6][7] 1969. Flowering plants: origin and dispersal. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh [Translated from Russian by C Jeffrey][8] 2009. Flowering Plants. Springer, New York[3]

Legacy[edit] Takhtajan
has been considered one of the leading botanists of his time.[5][2] The standard author abbreviation Takht. is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.[9] See also[edit]



^ a b c Velgorskaya 2007. ^ a b c Morin 2009. ^ a b Takhtajan
2009. ^ Raven 2009. ^ a b c Stevens 1993. ^ Reviewed by Herbert F. Copeland, 1961 ^ Review by Lincoln Constance ^ Takhtajan
1966. ^ IPNI.  Takht. 


Morin, Nancy R (July–December 2009). "Armen Takhtajan
1910–2009" (PDF). Flora of North America Newsletter. 23 (2): 23–24. Retrieved 3 January 2016.  Raven, Peter H. (2009). Foreword. pp. ix–xi. Retrieved 3 January 2016.  in Takhtajan
(2009) Stevens, William K. (April 6, 1993). "Armen Takhtajan; Botanist
Plans Survey of World's Flowers". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 December 2015.  Velgorskaya, T. V. (2007). Armen Leonovich Takhtajan: Biographical sketch.  in Takhtajan

Works by Takhtajan[edit]

Takhtajan, A. (June 1964). "The Taxa of the Higher Plants above the Rank of Order". Taxon. 13 (5): 160–164. doi:10.2307/1216134. JSTOR 10.2307/1216134.  Cronquist, Arthur; Takhtajan, Armen; Zimmermann, Walter (April 1966). "On the Higher Taxa of Embryobionta". Taxon. 15 (4): 129–134. doi:10.2307/1217531. JSTOR 1217531.  Takhtajan, Armen Leonovich (1966). "Lilianae". Система и филогения цветкорых растений (Sistema i filogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii) [Systema et Phylogemia Magnoliophytorum] (in Russian). trans. C Jeffrey, as Flowering plants: Origin and dispersal, Edinburgh : Oliver and Boyd, 1969. Moscow: Наука. p. 473. ISBN 0-05-001715-2.  Takhtajan, Armen (1980). "Outline of the classification of flowering plants (Magnoliophya)". Botanical Review. 46 (3): 225–359. doi:10.1007/BF02861558.  Takhtajan, Armen (1991). Evolutionary trends in flowering plants. New York: Columbia Univ. Press. ISBN 9780231073288.  Takhtajan, A.L. (2007). Грани эволюции: Статьи по теории эволюции. 1943—2006 (Grani ėvoli︠u︡t︠s︡ii: statʹi po teorii ėvoli︠u︡t︠s︡ii. 1943--2006 [Edge evolution: Articles on the theory of evolution. 1943-2006]. St Petersburg: Nauka. ISBN 978-5-02-026273-7. Retrieved 3 January 2016.  Takhtajan, Armen Leonovich (2009). Flowering Plants. New York: Springer. ISBN 1-4020-9609-7. Retrieved 7 January 2014.  A. Takhtajan
(1997) Diversity and Classification of Flowering Plants A. Takhtajan, Th.J. Crovello and A. Cronquist (1986). Floristic Regions of the World.

External links[edit]

Takhtajian in Great Soviet Encyclopedia The parting with Armen Takhtajan. Photo-report on the site of the Komarov Botanical Institute. (in Russian) Ivan Gabrielyan, Johanna Kovar-Eder. Obituary Nov 16 2010

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Armen Takhtajan.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 19771885 LCCN: n83048263 ISNI: 0000 0001 0876 6682 GND: 138875685 SELIBR: 256067 SUDOC: 085863521 BNF: cb124421628 (data) BIBSYS: 90098831 NKC: mzk2010474093 Botanist: Tak