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3.2. Introduction and development of Mendel's Laws

Introduction and development of Mendel's laws

Mendel's experiences. Laws of inheritance

Since man became a farmer and rancher, he was crossing different varieties of living beings to obtain individuals with the desired characteristics, although many times, the descendants of these hybrids did not retain the modified traits.

Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884), was an Austrian monk from Heizendorf, today Hyncice (present-day Czech Republic), who is considered the father of Genetics because he was the first researcher to use the scientific method and expressed the results of the controlled crosses that it carried out, in mathematical or statistical terms.

In this way, he deduced laws that allow us to understand and predict, in most cases, how the inheritance of characters occurs. Although he presented his findings "Plant Hybridization Experiments" to the Brünn Natural History Society in 1865 and they were published in 1866, it was not until 1900 that other authors, such as de Vries, rediscovered Mendel's laws.

Gregor Mendel
By Hugo Iltis (Wellcome Library, London) [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
For his experiments, Mendel chose the pea plant, Pisum sativum, easy to grow in his Brno convent, but which also has characteristics that favored his research, such as presenting easily observable distinctive characteristics, or the possibility of self-pollinating or producing cross-fertilization. with a simple manipulation.

In addition to being successful in choosing the plant, Mendel was also successful in studying the transmission of a single character in each cross. For this, by self-fertilization of plants that had that character, he got all the descendants to have that quality, obtaining pure races for that character.

He managed to isolate plants that had seven distinctive features with two alternatives (antagonistic characters). For example: smooth or rough seeds, yellow or green seeds, puffy or constricted pod, yellow or green pod, etc.

Caracteres estudiados por Mendel
By Mariana Ruiz LadyofHats (Spanish Translation El Ágora) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons