Navigation Links
Gregor Mendel


Gregor Johann Mendel

Gregor Johann Mendel (July 22, 1822January 6, 1884) was a Czech-Austrian monk who is often called the "father of genetics" for his study of the inheritance of traits in pea plants. Mendel showed that there was particulate inheritance of traits according to his laws of inheritance. However, Mendel's work was largely ignored until the turn of the 20th century, when its significance was understood for the first time.

Contents

Life

Mendel was born in Heinzendorf, Moravia, Austrian Empire (now Hynčice, district of Nov Jičn, Czech Republic). During his childhood Mendel worked as a gardener, and as a young man attended the Olmutz Philosophical Institute . In 1843 he entered an Augustinian monastery in Brno. He was later sent to the University of Vienna to study.

Gregor Mendel was inspired by both his professors at University and his colleagues at the monastery to study variation in plants. He commenced his study in his monastery's experimental garden. Between 1856 and 1863 Mendel cultivated and tested some 28,000 pea plants. His experiments brought forth two generalizations which later became known as Mendel's Laws of Inheritance.

Mendel's attraction to research was based on his love of nature. He was not only interested in plants, but also in meteorology and theories of evolution. Mendel often wondered how plants obtained atypical characteristics. On one of his frequent walks around the monastery, he found an atypical variety of an ornamental plant. He took it and planted it next to the typical variety. He grew their progeny side by side to see if there would be any approximation of the traits passed on to the next generation. This experiment was "designed to support or to illustrate Lamarck's views concerning the influence of environment upon plants." He found that the plants' respective offspring retained the essential traits of the parents, and therefore were not influenced by the environment. This simple test gave birth to the idea of heredity.

Mendel read his paper, Experiments on Plant Hybridization, at two meetings of the Natural History Society of Brunn in Bohemia in 1865. When Mendel's paper was published in 1866 in Proceedings of the Natural History Society of Brunn , it had little impact, and was cited about three times over the next thirty-five years.

Mendel died on January 6, 1884 in Brno, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic), from chronic nephritis.

Rediscovery of Mendel's work

It was not until the early 20th century that the importance of his ideas was realized. In 1900, his work was finally rediscovered by Hugo de Vries, Carl Correns and Erich von Tschermak. His results were quickly replicated, and genetic linkage quickly worked out. However, a period of tense argument ensued over its significance between William Bateson and Karl Pearson. Ronald Fisher in 1918 used Mendelian genetics as the basis of the start of the modern synthesis in evolutionary biology.

His experimental results have later been the object of considerable dispute. The renowned statistician Ronald Fisher analyzed the results of the F1 ratio and found them to be implausibly close to the exact ratio of 3 to 1. Only a few would accuse Mendel of scientific malpractice or call it a scientific fraud — reproduction of his experiments has demonstrated the accuracy of his hypothesis — however, the results have continued to be a mystery for many, and he is generally suspected of having "smoothed" his data to some degree (not knowing about the importance of blind classification). The fact that his reported results concentrate on the few traits in peas which are determined by a single gene has also suggested that he may have censored his results, otherwise he would have stumbled across genetic linkage.

The standard botanical author abbreviation Mendel is applied to species he described.

Mendel and Darwin

Mendel lived around the same time as the British naturalist Charles Darwin (18091882), and many have fantasized about a historical evolutionary synthesis of Darwinian natural selection and Mendelian genetics during their lifetimes. Mendel had read a German translation of Darwin's Origin (as evidenced by his notes in the margin of the copy in his monastery), but apparently failed to realize its significance. Darwin received a copy of Mendel's paper, but he did not read it (as evidenced by the pages of the paper remaining uncut). In the event, the modern evolutionary synthesis did not start until the 1920s, by which time statistics had become advanced enough to cope.

Bibliography

External links


'"/>


(Date:7/10/2014)... from The University of Texas Health Science Center at ... (IYG), a health education program designed to delay sexual ... dating violence behaviors among minority youth. , According to ... of high school youth are victims of physical dating ... percent are victims of emotional dating violence. Previous studies ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... children and teens living with a cardiac pacemaker, a ... quality of life, reports a study in the July ... , the official journal of the Society for ... published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins , a ... may function as a protective factor against lower health-related ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) Macromolecular Crystallography Group ... protein called BuD to DNA in order to ... the researcher who led the study, says the ... the instructions contained in the genome to treat ... study is published in the journal Acta ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):It's Your Game ... Keep It Real reduces dating violence among minority youth 2For children with pacemakers, 'self-competence' affects quality of life 2CNIO scientists develop technology to redirect proteins towards specific areas of the genome 2
... Munich have developed a new method for visualizing material ... team led by Bert Nickel has, for the first ... organic thin-film solar cells using laser light for localized ... the scientific journal " Advanced Materials ". "We have ...
... has published research this week in a leading science ... they were raised rather than that likely to maximize ... of habitat selection theory. The paper is published ... on June 26 and includes co-authors Michael Palmer, ...
... significantly challenged as production levels fall due to ... the industry,s competitiveness are being sought. The South ... Resources and Energy (DMITRE) has invited VTT Technical ... study that identifies potential routes by which the ...
Cached Biology News:Organic electronics: Imaging defects in solar cells 2Bioeconomy as a solution for South Australia's declining forest industry 2Bioeconomy as a solution for South Australia's declining forest industry 3
Other biology definitionOther Tags