Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Lysenkoism

Application of the political Marxist doctrine of individual improvement through training and environment to plant breeding by Russian geneticist Trofim D. Lysenko (1898-1976), who believed that characteristics acquired during life could be passed on to offspring. Lysenkoism was the antithesis of the gene concept and Mendelism; the consistent failure of the Russian wheat program and the success of the American program led to the eventual abandonment of what was essentially a form of neo-Lamarckism.

See neo-Lamarckian inheritance and Baldwin effect.

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