Gregor Mendel was inspired by both his professors at University and his colleagues at the monastery to study variance 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. His experimental results have later been the object of considerable dispute. The renowned statistician Sir 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. 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.
Stern C and Sherwood ER (1966) The Origin of Genetics.
Robin Marantz Henig, Monk in the Garden: The Lost and Found Genius of Gregor Mendel, the Father of Genetics, Houghton Mifflin, May, 2000, hardcover, 292 pages, ISBN 0395977657; trade paperback, Houghton Mifflin, May, 2001, ISBN 0618127410
Mendel was the first to fashion, by means of a controlled pollination technique and careful statistical analysis of his results, a clear, analytic picture of heredity.
Briefly summarized, as we understand it today by means of the science of genetics, the Mendelian system states that an inherited characteristic is determined by the combination of a pair of hereditary units, or genes, one from each of the parental reproductive cells, or gametes.
The law of segregation (Mendels first law) states that in the process of the formation of the gametes (see meiosis) the pairs separate, one going to each gamete, and that each gene remains completely uninfluenced by the other.
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