Blueprint of Life:
Gregor Mendel’s Experiments and the Inheritance of Characteristics
How and When Mendel carried out his experiments:
a. Briefly outline Mendel’s biography
• Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) was an Augustinian monk of Austrian origin and is known as the Father of Genetics. • During his childhood he worked as a gardener, and as a young man attended the Olmutz Philosophical Institute. • In 1843 he entered an Augustinian monastery in Brunn, Czechoslovakia. • Mendel's attraction for scientific research was based on his love of nature in general. He was not only interested in plants, but also in meteorology and theories of evolution. • He also worked as a teacher and an investigator while living in the monastery in Brunn.
b. Describe the experiments carried out by Mendel and include any significant data • Mendel experimented with garden pea plants, investigating their breeding patterns to determine the inheritance of characteristics. • The traits he studies were:
o Stem length: tall or short
o The colour of the seed contents: yellow or green
o The colour of the seed coat: grey or white
o The shape of the seed: round or wrinkled peas
o The colour of the unripe pod: yellow or grebe
o Flower position: axial or terminal
o Pod shape: inflated or constricted (see figure 1) • Over a period of 2 years, Mendel established pure-breeding lines of pea plants which he then cross-bred to study the inheritance of their characteristics.
|Experimental Technique |Summary of work and Results (see figure 2)|Significance | |To establish pure-breeding lines |Pure-Breeding line 1: |The offspring of pure-breeding lines all | | | |resemble their parents, ensuring they are| | |T |pure-breeding for that characteristic | | |T | | | | |The resulting tall or short plants become| | |T |the P (parent generation) in subsequent | | |TT |crosses | | |TT | | | | | | | |T | | | |TT | | | |TT | | | | | | | |All tall | | | | | | | |Pure-Breeding line 2: | | | | | | | |t |...
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