Gregor Mendel – The Father of Genetics
Gregor Mendel, also known as the “daddy of genetics,” studied the inheritance of genes in plants and animals. His research has shaped the field of genetics and has helped us understand recessiveness, superiority, and selection. It’s not difficult to understand why traits are passed down through generations.
Born to a poor family in German-speaking Silesia, Mendel was motivated to attend school. When he was eleven, the local priest encouraged him to enroll in a Gymnasium. After his Gymnasium studies, Mendel went on to attend a two-year program in philosophy at the University of Olmutz. While in school, he excelled in mathematics and physics. However, the initial years away from home were difficult and Mendel twice suffered from depression.
Although his results were largely accurate, Mendel’s work was not recognized by his peers in his lifetime. His findings were published in an obscure Austrian journal in 1866. After his death, his work remained unnoticed until the early 1900s when it was rediscovered by four scientists.
Mendel conducted his experiments on plants in the early nineteenth century. He used pea plants as his model system, and could observe inheritance patterns in two generations per year. His experiments later became the basis of the field of genetics, and he established a law known as the law of independent assortment.
Mendel’s experiments were very successful. He observed that crosses of two purebred peas with contrasting traits were reproducible. This proved that certain traits were inherited independently of each other. The results were stunning and he discovered a mathematical formula that explained inheritance.
In addition to determining the inheritance pattern, Mendel also determined how different genotypes segregated. This process became known as hybridization. This process allowed Mendel to determine the probability of a certain outcome. He analyzed a large number of crosses and determined the probabilities of certain traits based on them.
In addition to genetics, Mendel’s research has also impacted the world of human development. His studies proved that genes are passed on from parents to offspring in recessive and dominant patterns. In 1866, he published his findings in a scientific journal. Despite his difficulties, he managed to make significant advances in the field.
Mendel’s work formed the basis of the field of genetics. His work disproved Lamarck’s theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics. His research also led to the discovery of genetic markers. With his findings, Mendel’s work is now recognized as the father of genetics.
During the mid-1860s, Mendel’s experiments were conducted with peas. He cross-fertilized plants that had different traits. He was able to observe the results for two years, and he observed how the characteristics of the plants were passed from generation to generation. Mendel noted seven different traits in his research that were independent from each other.