Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mendel, Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel can often be heard of as the father of modern genetics. He is most famous for his work with the pean plants in his garden. Mendel came up with the idea of individual assortment - genes will cause a specific phenotype and these genes would each assort themselves individually from one another. He chose seven characteristics of his pea plants to work with: seed color, seed shape, position of flower, color of flower, stem length, pod shape, and pod color. Each of these characteristics had two options:

  • Seed color was either green or yellow
  • Seed shape was either round or wrinkled
  • Position of flower was either axial or terminal
  • Color of flower was either white or purple
  • Stem length was either long or short
  • Pod shape was either inflated or constricted
  • Pod color was either green or yellow

Through many experiments (termed dihybrid crosses) Mendel concluded that each trait assorted itself independently of the others. A Punnett square can be used to determine Mendelian Inheritance. With all the different patterns of inheritance that multicellular organisms have, it's amazing that Mendel had chosen seven different traits at random that represented independent assortment. I started to think one time what if he chose different traits? What would have happened to our knowledge about genetics had Mendel not done the work that he did?
Do you know if Gregor Mendel was as popular back in his day as he is now? What was the leading theory of genetic inheritance in Mendel's time?


Damyanti said...

Look forward to the rest of your challenge run…can’t believe we’ve had 14 days already.Hope you’re enjoying the challenge so far!
--Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Journaling Woman said...

Wow, this is very interesting. Thanks,

Donna Martin said...

Hi...I'm hopping over from the A to Z challenge...lovely blog...good luck with the challenge!

Donna L Martin

Jennifer Macfarlan said...

Damyanti - Thanks for stopping by! The challenge has been really fun so far.

Journaling Woman - Thank you for stopping by!

Donna - Thanks for the compliments and for stopping by! I look forward to you returning!