Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel. — Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), was an Austrian monk and abbott in the monastery of Briinn, where he conducted his experiments in the Cloister;

Garden. He loved plants and loved to experiment with them. Although he studied heredity only as a pastime, his laws of heredity and his experimental method of investigating them are two of the most important contributions ever made to biological science.

Mendel's success was due to the clearness with which he thought out the problem. He knew the works of other investigators of heredity, and attributed their failure to reach definite conclusions to a want of precise and continued analysis. To obtain definite results he saw that it was necessary to start with pure material, to consider each character separately, and to keep the different generations distinctly separate. He also realized that the progeny of each individual must be recorded separately. Such ideas were new in Mendel's time, but he felt certain that experiments carried on in this systematic way would give regular results and lead to definite conclusions.

Mendel saw that most could be accomplished by crossing plants of different varieties or species and observing the behavior of the hybrid offspring in successive generations. His plan was to cross plants differing in one or a few outstanding characters, such as the color of flowers, height of plant, color and shape of seeds, etc., and determine the laws governing the appearance of these characters in the hybrid offspring.

After working for about eight years, he presented his data, together with comments, to his former teacher, Karl Nageli, of the University of Vienna. Although a very noted worker in the field of biology, Niigcli did not seem to recognize the importance of his former student's experiments, and permitted them to sink into oblivion. The only publicity given to them was by Mendel himself, who presented the data, with interpretations, to the members of the Natural History Society of Briinn. The paper appeared in the 1865 proceedings of this society (Verliandlnngcn naturf. Vcrein in Briinn. Abhandl. IV, 1865), under the title of "Experiments in Plant Hybridization."

Title: The laws of life: principles of evolution, heredity and eugenics. A popular presentation. Author: William Marion Goldsmith. Publisher: R.G. Badger, 1922. Original from: the University of Michigan. Digitized: Jan 17, 2009. Length: 441 pages. Subjects: Biology. Eugenics Evolution Heredity.

This IMAGE (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 (in this case 1922) are now in the public domain.

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