Selection. The process of intentionally preferential reproduction or elimination of individual plants or animals with a certain genetic composition. It has been used from time immemorial to create new or improved species of agricultural plants and animals. Artificial selection differs from natural selection in that inherited variations are controlled by breeding. Selective breeding draws upon the sciences of anatomy, physiology, ecology, embryology, molecular biology, and genetics. One of the early selection scientists, Nikolai Vavilov, formulated the homologous series law and the theory of the centers of culture in plant genesis. He defined selective breeding as a highly complex science that borrows and transforms laws dealing with plants and animals from other sciences in a discriminant way with the goal of developing a given variety; it develops its own methods and determines the phenomena which lead to the creation of new breeds.
Early successes in Ukrainian selection research were in the field of sugar beets at the end of the 19th century. Monosperm varieties were developed by Ivan Buzanov and Volodymyr Zosymovych. Other sugar beet selection scientists were Lev Sempolovsky, O. Gelmer, Volodymyr Mykhalevych, and T. Hrynko. In 1884 the Poltava Experimental Field Station and Sugar Beet Selection Station was established; it was joined by other units in Uladivka (1880), Nemerchanka (1886), Ivanivka (1881), Verkhnia (1889), and Myronivka (1911). All of them were closed during the First World War and re-established in the 1920s. In 1911 the First Congress of Breeders and Seed Growers was held in Kharkiv.
Other scientific entities were formed: the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Plant Cultivation, Selection, and Genetics in Kharkiv, the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of Agriculture in Kyiv, the All-Union Selection and Genetics Institute in Odesa, the Scientific Research Institute of Corn in Dnipropetrovsk, and the Myronivka Institute of Wheat Selection and Seed Cultivation (expanded in 1968 from the original Myronivka Selection Research Station), as well as the All-Union institutes concerned with agriculture—the All-Union Research Institute of Sugar Beets in Kyiv, the Institute of Bast Cultures in Hlukhiv, the Institute of Horticulture near Kyiv, the Institute of Tobacco in Kyiv, the Institute of Oil Cultures in Krasnodar, the Institute of Irrigation Agriculture in Kherson, the Scientific Research Institute of Land Cultivation and Animal Husbandry of the Western Regions of Ukraine in Lviv, and so on.
The short rebirth of scientific activity during the 1920s was sharply curtailed during the purges of the 1930s and the Second World War. Many leading selection scientists disappeared without a trace, including B. Panshyn, V. Kolkunov, B. Lebedynsky, I. Voitkevych, V. Rakochi, S. Nyzovy-Kysil, D. Duz-Kriatchenko, O. Filipovsky, I. Shaposhnykiv, P. Soliakov, and A. Zaporozhets.
After 1945 M. Kott, M. Bulin, A. Pozdniak, T. Hrynko, P. Hordiienko, and D. Popadiuk came to the forefront in connection with the development of the Verkhnia 020 and Uladivka 752 sugar beet varieties. The theory of distant hybridization was proposed by H. Karpechenko. Numerous grain varieties were developed with high productivity under Ukrainian climatic conditions by Vasyl Yuriev, director of the Kharkiv Selection Station.
Advances in Ukrianian selection also include the development of varieties of wheat—Michurin; Odesa 3, 4 (Andrii Sapiehin), and 16 (Fedir Kyrychenko); Durable (B. Lebedynsky); Myronivka 264 and 808 and Jubilee (Vasyl Remeslo); Bilotserkivka 198 and 223; Lisostepova 74 and 75 (A. Horlach); and Ukrainka (E. Zheltkevych, L. Kovalevsky, and I. Yeremeev); of winter wheat—Krymka; of millet—Myronivka 85 and 51; of Sudan grass—Myronivka 10 and 325; of spring wheat—Poltavka; of sunflower—Peredovyk (Vasyl Pustovoit with V. Shcherbyna and H. Romanenko); of barley—Orion and Odesa 31 and 46 (P. Harkavy); and of peas—Uladivka 6 and 8 (M. Shulha), Uladivka 208 and 303 (I. Hromyk, T. Stehailo, and V. Havrylova), and Chernihivka 190 (M. Khandohin and I. Pereshkura).
A number of new corn varieties have been developed by Ukrainians: Bukovyna 1 and 3 (V. Kozubenko, at the Bukovyna Selection Station), Dnipro 56 and 90T (Borys Sokolov, at the Dnipropetrovsk Selection Station), Odesa 23 and 27 (Oleksander Musiiko and P. Kliuchko, at the Odesa Selection Station), and Kyiv 8 (P. Oseledets, at the Kyiv Selection Station). Ukrainian selection scientists in the field of orcharding and horticulture include Yosyp Mahomet, Volodymyr Symyrenko, I. Riabor, Mykola Savchenko, and Lev Ro.
Because of a lack of academic freedom, and, in some cases, political persecution during the Soviet period, many scientists emigrated from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and continued their work in the West: Oleksnder Arkhimovych, I. Bezpalov, H. Haharyn, I. Hromyk, Olena Savytska and Viacheslav Savytsky, Stepan Symko, Roman Shekhaiev, and I. Bolsunov.
Haharyn, H. ‘Istoriia selektsiï sil’s’ko-hospodars’kykh kul’tur v Ukraïni,’ Naukovi zapysky Ukraïns’koho tekhnichno-hospodars’koho instytutu, 12 (1967)