Classical genetics consists of the techniques and methodologies of genetics that predate the advent of molecular biology. A key discovery of classical genetics in eukaryotes, was genetic linkage. The observation that some genes do not segregate independently at meiosis, broke the laws of Mendelian inheritance, and provided science with a way to map characteristics to a location on the chromosomes. Linkage maps are still used today, especially in breeding for plant improvement.
After the discovery of the genetic code and such tools of cloning as restriction enzymes, the avenues of investigation open to geneticists were greatly broadened. Some classical genetic ideas have been supplanted with the mechanistic understanding brought by molecular discoveries, but many remain intact and in use. Classical genetics is often contrasted with reverse genetics, and aspects of molecular biology are sometimes referred to as molecular genetics.
See also:Genetic linkage