Gregor Mendel that came up with the correct hypothesis for how inheritance of traits works. Mendel published his ideas in 1866, but it took until the 1900’s for his ideas to be recognised.
Mendel studied the inheritance of different characteristics in peas plants. He found that when he bred purple flowered plants with white-flowered plants, the offspring were either white or purple - not a mix of the two, or a pale purple. He also noticed this held true for other traits, like the seed and pod colour either being yellow or green, not a mix. And stem being long or short, and not somewhere in the middle.
Mendel concluded that inheritance of characteristics is determined by units that are passed from parent to offspring unchanged. You either inherit your mother’s gene, or your father’s gene and not a mixture.
When looking at the green or yellow pea-pods, Mendel found that the first generation of offspring from a yellow pod and a green pod parent, will all have a yellow pea pod. But the second generation will have green pea pods in a 3:1 ratio. This led to Mendel proposing that a trait may not show up in an individual but can still be passed on to the next generation. Mendel had discovered dominant and recessive genes.
In this video we represent Mendel's work using genetic crosses.
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