International Conference

in Honor of 100th Anniversary of academician A.A. Krasnovsky
October 10-11, 2013, Moscow, Russia

A.N. Bach Institute of Biochemistry RAS
About A.A.Krasnovsky  General Information - Organizing Committee - Programme and Oral Presentations - Location - Links - contact us

26.06.2013   Russian version

About Alexander Abramovich Krasnovsky

Alexander Abramovich Krasnovsky (1913-1993) was a founder of the photobiochemical studies in Russia. He is best known for his research on photosynthesis, pioneering photochemical study of the primary mechanisms of this process.
A.A.Krasnovsky was born in Odessa on August 13 (26) 1913. He moved with his family to Moscow in 1921. He graduated from Moscow Mendeleev Institute of Chemical Technology in 1937 and was awarded his PhD in chemistry in 1940. During the WW-2, A.A.Krasnovsky has worked as an engineer on military factory in Stalinogorsk, then in Kemerovo. In 1944 he was invited to organize the laboratory of photobiochemistry in the Institute of Biochemistry, USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow. The initiator of this invitation was a famous Soviet photochemist, Academician A.N.Terenin and the idea got a support from the Institute's director, Academician A.N.Bach as well as Academicians A.I.Oparin and V.A.Engelhardt. The main aim of new laboratory was to study the mechanisms of photosynthetic transformation of solar energy. At that time it was already clear that light energy triggers redox transitions of chlorophyll but the mechanism of this phenomenon remained unclear. A.A.Krasnovsky got his habilitation in 1948, the thesis was titled "Study of the photochemical reactions of photosynthesis". In this thesis he demonstrated the ability of chlorophyll to undergo a reversible photoreduction and photosensitize electron transfer from the donor to the acceptor. This was the first experimental evidence of photoinduced redox activity of chlorophyll and had the fundamental importance for the understanding of the primary processes of photosynthesis. The reaction of the reversible photoreduction of chlorophyll was called "Krasnovsky Reaction". Later A.A.Krasnovsky and colleagues have found the conditions in which chlorophyll undergoes oxidation. Similar photoactivity was also demonstrated for other pigments like bacteriochlorophyll, pheophytin, and ptotochlorophyll. These studies have become the cornerstone of modern concepts of physical and chemical mechanisms that determine the function of chlorophyll in photosynthesis.
A.A.Krasnovsky has made an outstanding contribution to the training of young scientists as a professor-lecturer and head of graduate theses. Under his supervision were prepared 60 PhD theses. The studies performed by A.A.Krasnovsky in collaboration with his students (F.F.Litvin, N.V.Karapetyan, Yu.E.Erokhin, V.A.Shuvalov, V.V.Klimov, A.B.Rubin etc.) and his colleague V.B.Evstigneev have created the basis for the analysis of chlorophyll function in photosynthetic organisms. It was shown that molecules of pheophytin or bacteriopheophytin, dependent on photosystem, are involved in charge separation in the photosynthetic reaction centers. Studying the molecular organization of chlorophylls in the photosynthetic apparatus, A.A.Krasnovsky and his colleagues have concluded that pigment-pigment interaction is responsible for the multiplicity of spectral forms of chlorophyll. One of the goals that pursued A.A.Krasnovsky studies was to develop efficient models that were able to transform solar energy basing on the principles of photosynthesis. He has found that under UV or visible light the oxides of some transient metals Zn, Ti, Cd, and W cause electron transfer from electron donors, including water to the acceptors which photoreduction was accompanied by hydrogen evolution. These reactions have received the name of «inorganic model of Hill reaction» and are considered as a primitive model of the pre-chlorophyll photosynthesis.
A.A.Krasnovsky was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences (today Russian Academy of Sciences) in 1962 and became its full member 1976. He was a winner of the State Prize of the USSR in science (1991), the Bach prize of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1948, 1974). A.A.Krasnovsky passed away in Moscow, May 16, 1993.


About A.A.Krasnovsky  General Information - Organizing Committee - Programme and Oral Presentations - Location - Links - contact us
  Russian version

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