Famous Scientists


Gregor Mendel

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Johann Gregor Mendel

Early Life:

Johann Gregor Mendel, a Moravian man who was a scientist by occupation and was born in 1822 in Hyncice, Czechoslovakia on July 22nd. His father was a peasant and his grandfather was a gardener. Mendel was initially taught by a local priest but later on he was admitted in an Institute of Philosophy in Olmutz. But he was not financially well to do therefore in 1843, he terminated his studies and went back to the monastery in Brunn.

Mendel thought that monastery was the best place for him to study without worrying about how he’d finance his studies. He was made in charge of the garden at the monastery and named himself Gregor. He became a priest in 1847. After four years he went to University of Vienna where he studied physics, chemistry, botany and physics. When he returned to the monastery after completing his studies, he took a position as a teacher of natural sciences at the Technical School at Brno.


Contributions and Achievements:

Mendel used to conduct his very famous hereditary experiments in his free time. He did something no one had ever done before and no one ever had analyzed statistically the experiments of breeding. It was Mendel’s knowledge of natural sciences and his studies that helped him carry out these experiments. He usually chose to work with pea plants and selected only those ones that were cultivated in controlled atmosphere and were a pure variety. He cross bred many seeds and then found out results of the seven most evident seeds and variations.

It was concluded by Mendel that short plants created only short heighted off springs while tall plants gave both short and long plants. He also discovered that only one third of the long heighted plants gave long heighted off springs so he figured out that long plants were of two types, ones that gave bred true plants and the others that did not bred true plants.

Mendel continued with his experiments. He thought that he’d find more about the off springs by cross breeding the plants of different sizes. He thought that by crossing a long plant and a small plant, a plant of medium size would be produced but later on he found out that was not true. Mendel crossed different plants and calculated the results. He planted some plants with the cross of long and short plants and then planted the seeds of some long plants and pollinated some of them himself.

As a result, the naturally pollinated plants from the cross of short-long plants were long and the ones of long plants that were unnaturally pollinated sprouted short. The tallness of the plant which is said to be the most overpowering feature was said to the dominant trait while the shortness was known as the recessive trait. The results did not vary whether a male plant was used or a female plant. This investigation of Mendel’s took more than eight years to finish and it almost included 30,000 plants or more.

The law of segregation which is the first heredity law was based on his observation about the breeding of plants. The law states that the units of heredity also known as genes are found in pairs and that the paired gene is divided when the cell is divided. Each member is received by the egg and the sperm and paired gene is present in either half the eggs or sperm.


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