Tikhonovich Igor Anatolievich

Affiliation and official address

Head of Department of Biotechnology, Director of All-Russia Research Institute for Agricultural Microbiology (ARRIAM)
Podbelsky Chaussee 3, St.-Petersburg, Pushkin 8, 196608 Russia
-mail: contact@arriam.spb.ru; arriam2008@yandex.ru

Date and place of birth: January 01, 1949, Gorlovka, Ukraine                        

Citizenship: Russian Federation


1967 – 1971                M.S. Degree, Donetsk State University
1971 – 1972                Ph.D. student, Department of genetics and breeding, Leningrad State University
1972 – 1973               Military service
1973 – 1975                Ph.D. student, Department of genetics and breeding, Leningrad State University

Academic degrees

1975                            Candidate of biological sciences, Leningrad State University
1992                            Doctor of biological sciences, Saint-Petersburg State University
1993                            Associated member of Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences
1995                            Professor by specialization “microbiology”
1997                            Full member of Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences
2014                            Full member of Russian Academy of Sciences   


1975 – 1979                           Probationer, Scientific Research Institute for Biology, Leningrad State University
1979 – 1983                                       Senior Scientist, AURIAM, Leningrad
1983 – 1986                           Deputy Director of AURIAM, Leningrad
1986 –        Head of Laboratory (since 2001 of Department) Biotechnology, Director of ARRIAM
2002 –        Professor of Department of Genetics and Breeding (since 2013 Genetics and Biotechnology) of Saint-Petersburg State University
Plant genetics, microbiology, plant physiology

Current research interest
Genetics of plant-microbe interactions, symbiogenetics, Legume-Rhizobial symbiosis, nitrogen-fixation, biotechnology of plant-microbe systems, metagenomic analysis of microbiological communities, nodule bacteria, legume plants, beneficial rhizospheric bacteria, biotic and abiotic stress, biopreparations

Honours, Awards, Fellowships, Membership of Professional Societies

The Order of Friendship for outstanding contribution success and good work, 2005.
Russian Federation Government award in the field of science and technology in 2013.
N.I.Vavilov award of St. Petersburg Government for outstanding scientific achievements in the field of science and technology in 2009.
An anniversary medal in honour of the 50th  anniversary of Poland Academy of Sciences, 2006.
Diploma of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences for the best scientific implementation completed in 2009, “Scientifically justified parameters of ecologo-genetic and molecular symbioses between plants and microorganisms”.
Diploma of the Governor of Leningrad region in 2009.
Diploma of Administration of Pushkin district of St. Petersburg in 2009.
Diploma of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 2009.
Diploma of Leningrad District Parliament in 2008.
Member of the Presidential Council of the Russian Federation for Science and Education.
Foreign member of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
Foreign member of the Ukraine National Academy of Agrarian Sciences.
Organizer of 10th International Congress on Biological Nitrogen Fixation (Saint-Petersburg, 1995, about 700 participants form more than 50 countries).
Organizer of 11th International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (Saint-Petersburg, 2003, about 800 participants form more than 70 countries).
Organizer of International Conference dedicated to 120 anniversary of agriculatural microbiology in Russia, 2011.
Head of the Leading Scholar School “Molecular-genetic basis of formation and functioning of beneficial plant-microbe systems” -9744.2006.4, -5399.2008.4, -3440.2010.4, -337.2012.4., -4603.2014.4.
Head of Scientific Educational Centre “Genetics and cell biology of plant-microbe interactions” (http://www.arriam.spb.ru/rus/noc.html).
Head of Core Facility Centre “Genomic technologies, proteomics and cell biology” (http://www.arriam.spb.ru/rus/ckp.html).
President of the Vavilov Society of Geneticists and Breeders (since 2014).
Expert of the group Task Forse of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (1996-2000).
Member of the Steering Committee of the high- level Panel of experts of Council for Food Security at the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) (2010-2013).
Member of the editorial boards of "Microbiology", "Agricultural biology", "Applied Biochemistry and Microbiology", "Ecological Genetics", "Journal of Agricultural Sciences".
Member of the Dissertation Council D.212.232.12 for the degree of Doctor of Biological Sciences at St. Petersburg State University.
Member of the Pisum Genetics Association.

Total of reviewed articles – more than 160


Main publications (in journals with impact factor 1.0 or higher)


  1. Borisov A.Y., Morzhina E.V., Kulikova O.A., Tchetkova S.A., Lebsky V.K., Tikhonovich I.A. New symbiotic mutants of pea (Pisum sativum L.) affecting either nodule initiation and symbiosome development // Symbiosis. 1992. V. 14. P.  297-313.
  2. Kozik A., Heidstra R., Horvath B., Kulikova O., Tikhonovich I., Ellis T.H.N., Van Kammen A., Lie T.A., Bisseling T. Pea lines carrying sym1or sym2 can be nodulated by Rhizobium strains containing nodX; sym1 and sym2 are allelic // Plant Science. 1995. V. 108. N 1. P. 41–49.
  3. Romanov V.I., Gordon A.J., Minchin F.R., Witty J.F., Scot L., James C.L., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A. Anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of root nodules of Sprint-2Fix-, a symbiotically defective mutant of pea (Pisum sativum L.) // Journal of Experimental Botany. 1995. V. 46. P. 1809-1816.
  4. Borisov A.Y., Rozov S.M., Tsyganov V.E., Morzhina E.V., Lebsky V.K., Tikhonovich I.A. Sequential functioning of Sym-13 and Sym-31, two genes affecting symbiosome development in root nodules of pea (Pisum sativum L.) // Molecular and General Genetics. 1997. V. 254. 5. P. 592-598.
  5. Tsyganov V.E., Morzhina E.V., Stefanov S.Y., Borisov A.Y., Lebsky V.K., Tikhonovich I.A. The pea (Pisum sativum L.) genes sym33 and sym40 control infection thread formation and root nodule function // Molecular and General Genetics. 1998. V. 256. 5. P. 491-503.
  6. Ovtsyna A.O., Geurts R., Bisseling T., Lugtenberg B.J.J. Tikhonovich I.A., Spaink H.P. Restriction of host range by the sym2 allele of Afghan pea is nonspecific for the type of modification at the reducing terminus of nodulation signals // Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 1998, V 11. N. 5. P. 418-422.
  7. Romanov V.I., Gordon A.J., Minchin F.R., Witty J.F., Skøt L., James C.L., Tikhonovich I.A. Physiological and biochemical characteristics of FN1, a ‘fixation impaired’ mutant of pea (Pisum sativum L.) // Journal of Experimental Botany. V. 49. N 328. P. 1789-1796.
  8. Men A.E., Borisov A.Y., Rozov S.M., Ushakov K.V., Tsyganov V.E., Tikhonovich I.A. Gresshoff P.M. Identification of DNA amplification fingerprinting (DAF) markers close to the symbiosis-ineffective sym31 mutation of pea (Pisum sativum L.) // Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 1999. V. 98 6-7. P. 929-936.
  9. Fedorova M., Tikhonovich I.A., Vance C.P. Expression of C-assimilating enzymes in pea (Pisum sativum L.) root nodules. In situ localization in effective nodules // Plant Cell and Environment.  V. 22. N 10. P. 1249-1262.
  10. Ovtsyna A.O., Rademaker G.J., Esser E., Weinman J., Rolfe B.G., Tikhonovich I.A., Lugtenberg B.J.J., Thomas-Oates J.E., Spaink H.P. Comparison of characteristics of the nodX genes from various Rhizobium leguminosarum strains // Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 1999. V. 12. N 3. P. 252-258.
  11. Sherrier D.J., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A., Brewin N.J. Immunocytological evidence for abnormal symbiosome development in nodules of the pea mutant line Sprint-2Fix- (sym31) // Protoplasma. 1997. V. 199 P. 57-68.
  12. Ovtsyna A.O., Schultze M., Tikhonovich I.A., Spaink H.P., Kondorosi E., Kondorosi A., Staehelin C. Nod factors of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae and their fucosylated derivatives stimulate a Nod factor cleaving activity in pea roots and are hydrolyzed in vitro by plant chitinases at different rates // Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 2000. V. 13. N 8. P. 799-807.  
  13. Morzhina E.V., Tsyganov V.E., Borisov A.Y., Lebsky V.K., Tikhonovich I.A. Four developmental stages identified by genetic dissection of pea (Pisum sativum L.) root nodule morphogenesis // Plant Science. 2000. V. 155. 1. P. 75-83.
  1. Tsyganov V.E., Pavlova Z.B., Kravchenko L.V., Rozov S.M., Borisov A.Y., Lutova L.A., Tikhonovich I.A. New gene Crt (curly roots) controlling pea (Pisum sativum L.) root development // Annals of Botany. 2000. V. 86. 6. P. 975-981.
  2. Borisov A.Y., Barmicheva E.M., Jacobi L.M., Tsyganov V.E., Voroshilova V.A., Tikhonovich I.A. Pea (Pisum sativum L.) mendelian genes controlling development of nitrogen-fixing nodules and arbuscular mycorrhiza // Czech Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding. 2000. V. 36. P. 106-110.
  3. Voroshilova V.A., Boesten B., Tsyganov V.E., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A., Priefer U.B. Effect of mutations in Pisum sativum L. genes (sym13, sym31, sym33, sym40) blocking different stages of nodule development on the expression of late symbiotic genes in Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae // Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 2001. V. 14. 4. P. 471-476.
  4. Belimov A.A., Safronova V.I., Sergeyeva T.A., Egorova T.N,. Matveyeva V.A., Tsyganov V.E., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A., Kluge C., Preisfeld A., Dietz K.-J., Stepanok V.V. Characterization of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria isolated from polluted soils and containing 1-aminocyclopropane-1 carboxylate deaminase // Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 2001. V. 47. 7. P. 642-652.
  1. Tsyganov V.E., Voroshilova V.A., Priefer U.B., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A. Genetic dissection of the initiation of the infection process and nodule tissue development in the Rhizobium-pea (Pisum sativum L.) symbiosis // Annals of Botany. 2002. V. 89. 4. P. 357-366.
  2. Provorov N.A., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A. Developmental genetics and evolution of symbiotic structures in nitrogen-fixing nodules and arbuscular mycorrhiza // Journal of Theoretical Biology. 2002. V. 214. P. 215-232.
  3. Jacobi L.M., Petrova O.S., Tsyganov V.E., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A. Effect of mutations in the pea genes Sym33 and Sym40. I. Arbuscular mycorrhiza formation and function // Mycorrhiza. 2003. V. 13. P. 3-7.
  4. Jacobi L.M., Zubkova L.A., Barmicheva E.M., Tsyganov V.E., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A. Effect of mutations in the pea genes Sym33 and Sym40. II. Dynamics of arbuscule development and turnover // Mycorrhiza. 2003. V. 13. P. 9-16.
  5. Provorov N.A., Tikhonovich I.A. Genetic resources for improving nitrogen fixation in legume-rhizobia symbiosis // Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. V. 50. N 1. P. 89-99.  
  6. Borisov A.Y., Madsen L.H., Tsyganov V.E., Umehara Y., Voroshilova V.A., Batagov A.O., Sandal N., Frederiksen A., Schauser L., Ellis N., Tikhonovich I.A., Stougaard J. The Sym35 gene required for root nodule development in Pisum sativum is an orthologue of Nin from Lotus japonicus // Plant Physiology. 2003. V. 131. P. 1009-1017.
  1. Belimov A.A., Safronova V.I., Tsyganov V.E., Borisov A.Y., Kozhemyakov A.P., Stepanok V.V., Martenson A.M., Gianinazzi-Pearson V., Tikhonovich I.A. Genetic variability in tolerance to cadmium and accumulation of heavy metals in pea (Pisum sativum L.) // Euphytica. 2003. V. 131. P. 25-35.
  2. Tsyganov V.E., Voroshilova V.A., Herrera-Cervera J.A., Sanjuan-Pinilla J.M., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A., Priefer U.B., Olivares J., Sanjuan J. Developmental down-regulation of rhizobial genes as a function of symbiosome differentiation in symbiotic root nodules of Pisum sativum L. // New Phytologist. 2003. V. 159. 2. P. 521-530.
  1. Ovtsyna A.O., Dolgikh E.A., Kilanova A.S., Tsyganov V.E., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A., Staehelin C. Nod factors induce Nod factor cleaving enzymes in pea roots. Genetic and pharmacological approaches indicate different activation mechanisms. Plant Physiology. 2005. V. 139. 2. P. 1051-1064.
  1. Tsyganov V.E., Belimov A.A., Borisov A.Y., Safronova V.I., Georgi M., Dietz K.-J., Tikhonovich I.A. A chemically induced new pea (Pisum sativum L.) mutant SGECdt with increased tolerance to and accumulation of cadmium // Annals of Botany. 2007. V. 99. P. 227-237.
  2. Tikhonovich I.A., Provorov N.A. Cooperation of plants and microorganisms: Getting closer to the genetic construction of sustainable agro-systems // Biotechnology Journal. 2007. V 2. N 7. P. 833-848.
  3. Zhukov V.A., Radutoiu S., Madsen L.H., Rychagova T., Ovchinnikova E., Borisov A., Tikhonovich I., Stougaard J. The pea Sym37 receptor kinase gene controls infection thread initiation and nodule development // Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 2008. V. 21. N 12. P. 1600-1608.
  4. Voroshilova V.A., Demchenko K.N., Brewin N.J.,  Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A. Initiation of legume nodule with an indeterminate meristem involves proliferating host cells that harbour infection threads // New Phytologist. 2009. V. 181. P. 913-923.
  5. Tikhonovich I.A., Provorov N.A. From plant-microbe interactions to symbiogenetics: a universa paradigm for the inter-species genetic integration // Annals of Applied Biology. 2009. V. 154. N 3. P. 341-350.
  6. Santala J., Samuilova O., Hannukkala A., Latvala S., Kortemaa H., Beuch U., Kvarnheden A., Persson P., Topp K., Ørstad K., Spetz C., Nielsen S.L., Kirk H.G., Uth J.G., Budziszewska M., Wieczorek P., Obrepalska-Steplowska A., Pospieszny H., Kryszczuk A., Sztangret-Wisniewska J., Yin Z., Chrzanowska M., Zimnoch-Guzowska E., Jackeviciene E., Taluntyte? L., Pupola N., Mihailova J., Lielmane I., Järvekülg L., Kotkas K., Rogozina E., Sozonov A., Tikhonovich I., Horn P., Broer I., Kuusiene S., Staniulis J., Adam G., Valkonen J.P.T. Detection, distribution and control of Potato mop-top virus, a soil-borne virus, in northern Europe // Annals of Applied Biology. 2010. V. 157. P. 163–178.
  7. Egamberdieva D., Kucharova Z., Davranov K., Berg G., Makarova N., Azarova T., Chebotar V., Tikhonovich I., Kamilova F., Validov S.Z., Lugtenberg B. Bacteria able to control foot and root rot and to promote growth of cucumber in salinated soils // Biology and Fertility of Soils. 2011. V. 47. P. 197–205.
  8. Tikhonovich I.A, Provorov N.A. Microbiology is the basis of sustainable agriculture: an opinion // Annals of Applied Biology. 2011. V. 159. P. 155-168.
  9. Malfanova N., Kamilova F., Validov S., Shcherbakov A., Chebotar V., Tikhonovich I., Lugtenberg B. Characterization of Bacillus subtilis HC8, a novel plant-bene?cial endophytic strain from giant hogweed // Microbial Biotechnology. 2011. V. 4. No 4. P. 523–532.
  1. Dolgikh E.A., Leppyanen I.V., Osipova M.A., Savelyeva N.V., Borisov A.Y., Tsyganov V.E., Geurts R., Tikhonovich I.A. Genetic dissection of Rhizobium induced infection and nodule organogenesis in pea based on Enod12a and Enod5 expression analysis // Plant Biology. 2011. V. 13 P. 285-296.
  2. Ovchinnikova E., Journet E.-P., Chabaud M., Cosson V., Ratet P., Duc G., Fedorova E., Liu W., den Camp R.O., Zhukov V., Tikhonovich I., Borisov A., Bisseling T., Limpens E. IPD3 Controls the Formation of Nitrogen-Fixing Symbiosomes in Pea and Medicago Spp. // Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 2011. V. 24. N. 11. P. 1333-1344.
  3. Shtark O.Y., Zhukov V.A., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A. Mutually beneficial legume symbioses with soil microbes and their potential for plant production // Symbiosis. 2012. V. 58. P. 51-62.
  4. Osipova M.A., Mortier V., Demchenko K.N., Tsyganov V.E., Tikhonovich I.A., Lutova L.A., Dolgikh E A., Goormachtig S. WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX5 gene expression and interaction of CLE peptides with components of the systemic control add two pieces to the puzzle of autoregulation of nodulation // Plant Physiology. 2012. V. 158. P. 1–13.
  5. Couzigou J.-M., Zhukov V., Mondy S., Abu el Heba G., Cosson V., Ellis T.H.N., Ambrose M., Wen J., Tadege M., Tikhonovich I., Mysore K.S., Putterill J., Hofer J., Borisov A.Y., Ratet P. NOOT and COCHLEATA are legume orthologs of the BOP genes that participate in maintenance of the nodule developmental program // The Plant Cell. 2012. V. 24. N. 11. P. 4498-4510.
  6. Safronova V.I., Kimeklis A.K., Chizhevskaya E.P., Belimov A.A., Andronov E.E., Pinaev A.G., Pukhaev A.R., Popov K.P., Tikhonovich I.A. Genetic diversity of rhizobia isolated from nodules of the relic species Vavilovia formosa (Stev.) Fed. // Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology. V. 105. N 2. P. 389-399.
  7. Kitaeva A.B., Demchenko K.N., Tikhonovich I.A., Timmers A.C.J., Tsyganov V.E. Comparative analysis of the microtubular organization in nodules of Medicago truncatula and Pisum sativum: Bacterial release and bacteroid positioning correlate with characteristic microtubular rearrangements. New Phytologist. 2014. Submitted.

Selected books, chapters in books (since 2009)

  1. Zhukov V.A., Shtark O.Y., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A. Breeding to Improve Symbiotic Effectiveness of Legumes. In: Plant Breeding from Laboratories to Fields (Andersen S.B., ed.), Rijeka, Croatia, 2013, p. 167-207.
  2. Bagirova S.F., Javakhiya V.G., Diakov U.T., Ozeretskovskaya O.L., Provorov N.A., Tikhonovich I.A., Shcherbakova L.A. Fundamental Phytopathology. M.: Krasand., 2012. 512 pp. (in Russian)
  3. Provorov N.A., Vorobyov N.I., Tikhonovich I.A (ed.) Genetic basis of the evolution of plant-microbial symbiosis, St. Petersburg, Inform-Navigator, 2012. 400 pp. (in Russian)
  4. Shtark O., Provorov N., Mikic A., Borisov A., Cupina B., Tikhonovich I. Legume root symbioses: natural history and prospects for improvement. Field and Vegetable Crops Research (Ratarstvo I Povrtarstvo). 2011. 48: 291-304. 
  5. Provorov N.A., Vorobyov N.B.,  Tikhonovich I.A. Evolutionary Genetics of Plant-Microbe Symbioses.  Agronomy Research and Development Series, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2010. 290 pp.
  6. Provorov N.A., Shtark O.Y., Zhukov V.A., Borisov A.Y., Tikhonovich I.A. Developmental genetics of plant-microbe symbioses. New York: NOVA Science Publishers Inc.,  2010. 151pp.
  7. Shtark O.Y., Borisov A.Y., Zhukov V.A., Provorov N.A. & Tikhonovich I.A. Intimate associations of beneficial soil microbes with the host plants. In: Soil Microbiology & Sustainable Crop Production (G.R. Dixon & E.L. Tilston, eds.). Springer Science + Business Media B.V., Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2010, p. 119-196.
  8. Tikhonovich I.A., Provorov N.A. Symbioses plants and microorganisms: molecular genetics of the future agricultural systems SPb. St. Petersburg University Press, 2009. – 210 pp (in Russian)



Dolgikh .., Dolgikh V.V., Leppyanen I.V., Varlamov V.P., Lopatin S.., Tikhonovich I.. The method of enzymatic preparation of penta-N-acetylchitopentaose // Patent 2460800, 04.08.2010., registration 16.03.2012.
Dolgikh .., Dolgikh V.V., Leppyanen I.V., Varlamov V.P., Lopatin S.., ikhonovich I.. The method of enzymatic preparation of penta-N-acetylchitopentaose and hexa-N-acetylchitohexaose. Application N 20121105975/10 (009147), 17.02.2012, registration 16.05.2013.