What is Mendelian genetics? (with photos)

Gregor Mendel studied pea pods as a way of researching genetics.

Mendel genetics is a theory of genetic inheritance developed by Gregor Mendel in the 1800s. It is widely regarded as the cornerstone of classical genetics, and while Mendel didn’t get everything right, he came very close. Students in science classes are introduced to the concept of Mendelian genetics from a very early age in order to prepare them for more complex discussions of genetics.

Gregor Mendel discovered the basis for our understanding of how traits such as hair and eye color are transmitted.

At the time Mendel was working, not much was known about genetics. Mendel had an innovative idea at the time: to create a pure genetic line for research and meticulously record its results. He chose peas for his experiments as they grow quickly and are easy to hybridize, and along the way he made a number of remarkable discoveries, formulating two laws of genetics that were not very popular in the scientific community at the time.

Each individual receives a combination of genes equally from the biological father and the biological mother.

Mendel’s first law was the Law of Segregation, which dictated that each organism inherit half of its genetic material from one parent and half from the other. The second was the Law of Independent Classification, which stated that traits manifested independently of each other and that traits could be divided into dominant and recessive categories. What Mendel didn’t realize is that some genetic traits actually involve multiple locations that interact with each other, like eye color, and some traits are actually linked, like hemophilia, which is a sex-linked trait that only appears in people who inherit it. a Y chromosome.

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Gregor Mendel is known for his work on genetics and heredity.

Although Mendel’s conclusions were not entirely perfect, the concept of Mendelian genetics still surprised the scientific community. His theory explained why traits can remain hidden for generations, which contradicted popular theories that suggested traits were continuously inherited. The idea of ​​inheriting genetic material equally from both parents was laughable, thanks to the fact that microscopes were not advanced enough to detect the process of meiosis.

Someone who has two copies of a recessive trait, such as blue eyes, will express that trait.

At the time Mendel’s theories were published, they attracted little attention. In the early 20th century, several scientists referenced his work, building on the basic concepts of Mendelian genetics and adding their own concepts and ideas to create the theory of classical genetics. While Mendel did not live to see his theories vindicated, he would no doubt take comfort in being considered the father of genetics. Named after Gregor Mendel, traits that are determined by genes at a single location are known as “Mendel traits”.

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