Gregor Mendel


Born: 22 July 1822
Died: 6 January 1884
Birthplace: Hyncice, Moravia(now Czech Republic)
Best known as: The founding father of modern genetics
A monk with a scientific streak, Mendel made botanical discoveries which became the basis of modern genetics. His careful cross-breeding of thousands of pea plants led Mendel to key insights, now called Mendel's Laws of Heredity, about how inherited traits are passed on from generation to generation. As a young man Mendel entered the St. Thomas Monastery in Brünn, Austria (now Brno, the Czech Republic). He devoted much of his time to teaching and scientific inquiry. Between 1856 and 1863 he catalogued successive generations of pea plants with statistical precision, looking for clues to how traits like color and shape were reproduced. Among his findings were the law of segregation (which includes the notion of dominant and recessive genes) and the law of independent assortment (which says that an organism's individual traits are passed on independently of one another). Mendel published Experiments in Plant Hybridization in 1865, but his theories were not widely embraced until the 1900s.
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Mendel was made abbot of the St. Thomas Monastery in 1868… His birthplace of Hyncice is also known by its former German name, Heinzendorf.

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