Birth of genetics, Biology

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Birth of Genetics

Modern genetics originated with Gregor Mendel's work. It is based on this paper entitled "Experiments in Plant Hybridisation " published in 1866 inqthe Proceedings of the Society of Natural History in Bmo. Mendel carried out detailed investigations of inheritance in garden pea. He performed elaborate plant hybridisation experiments and kept accurate pedigree records of his results. With the data obtained, he was able to formulate the basic principles of inheritance.

Mendel proposed the concept of hereditary units. According to him equal number of these units (factors) inherited from each parent determined the observable characters of the offspring. This was the first conceptualisation of what is now referred to particulate inheritance. Characteristics themselves are not inherited but the particles, units or factors that determine or control the observable traits are transmitted from parents to offspring. The appearance of the character in the offspring is determined by the particular combination of factors inherited from the two parents. This was the beginning ofthe concept of a gene, which is the modern term for the hereditary units or particles originally described by Mendel.

Mendel's work was not appreciated by the rest of the scientific community until 1900, when three botanists Carl Correns in Germany, Hugo de Varies in the Netherlands and Erich von Tschermak in Austria, rediscovered his work after each had independently reached similar conclusions. They all found Mendel's report while scanning the literature for related work and cited it in their own publications. Wiam Bateson, an English scientist, coined the term "genetics"in 1905 for this developing science. The term was derived from Greek word which means to, generate". Many consider Bateson as the real founder of genetics as he was the first to have Mendel's papers translated into English and the first one to show that Mendel's theory was also applicable to animals.


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