A Database for Triticeae and Avena
Dieter Mettin, retired director
of the Central Institute of Genetics and Crop Plant Research of
Academy of Sciences, Gatersleben (Germany), died on 25 August,
2004, after long cancer illness at his home in Naumburg (Germany).
Dr. Mettin was born in Berlin (Germany) 1 February, 1932. He
attended Berlin Eosander Junior College from 1942 to 1943, Eisleben
Martin Luther Gymnasium 1943 to 1950, Salzmuende Agricultural
College from 1950 to 1952, and Halle-Wittenberg Martin Luther
University from 1952 to 1955, where he obtained a M.Sc. degree
in Agricultural Sciences. Dr. Mettin obtained his Ph.D. degree
from Martin Luther University in 1961 with a major in Plant Breeding
and Genetics under the supervisor, Prof. Dr. H. Stubbe (Thesis:
Genetic and cytological studies in the genus Vicia). He was awarded
a Dr.Sc. degree from that institution in 1977 (Thesis: Selection,
identification and genetic utilization of aneuploids in hexaploid
winter wheat, Triticum aestivum L.).
Dieter Mettin served as Instructor of Agriculture in M.T.S.
Teuchern (Germany) from 1955-56, and as Junior Assistant at the
Institute of Crop Plant Research, Gatersleben (German Academy
of Sciences) in 1956-61. In the autumn of 1961, he moved to the
Institute of Plant Breeding of Martin Luther University Halle.
He began his professional career after graduation as Assistant
Professor at the Institute of Plant Breeding, Hohenthurm (Germany).
In 1968, he was appointed as Reader of Cytogenetics in Plant Breeding,
and in 1977, as Full Professor of Plant Breeding. In 1983, Prof.
Mettin accepted a call as Director of the Central Institute of
Genetics and Crop Plant Research Gatersleben, from which he retired
During his time at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
he contributed significantly to the improvement of academic education
in genetics, plant breeding, and seed production as well as applied
cytogenetic research. His activity was internationally recognized.
He became Vice Dean of the Agricultural Faculty in 1970-72, a
member of the Scientific Council of University, and a member of
Scientific Council of Agricultural Sciences of the Ministry of
Higher Education (1981-1984), Dr. Mettin had the opportunity to
encourage and direct several graduate students. More than 40 B.Sc.
and more than 60 M.Sc. students studied under his supervision.
Many of the research projects involved the participation of the
12 Ph.D. and two D.Sc. applicants. He was well known for his interest
in and his commitment toward helping younger research scientists
in their developing careers. He retained contact with his former
students and never lost interest in their progress. His interest
in teaching continued throughout his career.
Mettin s research work encompassed many facets of basic and
applied research ranging from cytotaxonomic studies of Vicia,
induced auto- and allopolyploidization in Brassica and
Secale, wide hybridization in Triticineae, production
and utilization of aneuploids in Aegilops, Secale,
and Triticum, genetic mapping of resistance genes to
leaf diseases, and quantitative traits in wheat and homoeologous
chromosome pairing in cereals to first applications of molecular
genetics and biotechnology in plant breeding. He was among the
pioneers of wheat aneuploid research in the world. The creation
of the complete series of monosomics of the German wheat cultivar
Poros (winter type) and Carola (spring type), the production of
the first complete series of primary rye trisomics, the co-discoveries
of the T1B·1R wheat-rye translocations/substitutions in
hexaploid wheat, and the spontaneous homologous recombination
between wheat and rye chromosomes are four of his most essential
Dieter Mettin was recognized widely in his profession as a
consummate plant geneticist and cytogeneticist whose advice was
often sought by plant breeders. He was the author of over 100
scientific papers, conference proceedings and book contributions.
His awards include member of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences
(Berlin), M.L.U Award of Sciences (Halle), and J. Kuehn Award
(Halle). He was a cofounder of European Wheat Aneuploid Cooperation
(EWAC), Curator of Aneuploid Research of the CMEC Agricultural
Research (Odessa; Russia), member and President of Scientific
Council Molecular and Cellular Genetics of Biosciences Program
Dieter Mettin s legacy will remain in memory of all his students,
colleagues and friends. He is survived by his wife, Edelgard Mettin,
who lives in Naumburg (Germany) and by his son, Albrecht Mettin.