Genetics deals with the inheritance and variations of traits from parents to offspring. The mystery behind genetics was unlocked during mid-nineteenth century by a monk called Gregor Mendel in the mid-nineteenth century. He conducted experiments to understand the basis for inheritance i.e., why dogs give birth only to dogs but not to humans. Nowadays, Mendel’s experimental observations and discoveries serve as the fundamental for the inheritance which is famously called as Mendel’s law of inheritance.
Mendel’s Law of Inheritance
The acquiring of genetic traits or characteristics by their offspring is known as Inheritance. Both the parents contribute equally to the inheritance of traits in humans. Gregor Mendel studied the law of inheritance in 1860 and conducted an experiment on pea plants. He started cultivating pea plants and observed that their inheritance pattern from one generation to another. The observation leads to the discovery of three laws of inheritance which are known as Mendel’s Law of Inheritance.
Mendel began his investigation with a pair of pea plants with two contrasting traits i.e., one tall and another dwarf. He observed their pattern of inheritance. Similarly, he investigated pairs of pea plants with one contrasting trait. Mendel studied these seven characters that consist of contrasting traits:
- Stem height: Tall/dwarf
- Seed shape: Round/wrinkled
- Seed color: Yellow/green
- Pod color: yellow/Green
- Flower position: terminal/Axial
- Flower color: Violet/white
- Pod shape: constricted/Inflated
Throughout his experiment, Mendel employed only true-breeding pea plants. This is because a true breeding plant has stable trait inheritance for several generations. In each experiment, he observed a pattern of inheritance which set a framework for the law of inheritance. He combined mathematics with this biological issue to make it more credible.
Later, based on the observations and conclusions made by Mendel, the relation between inheritance, traits, and factors that are responsible for heredity was discovered.
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