Reply To: What is genetics?

  • Encyclios

    May 16, 2023 at 1:23 PM

    The theories of Mendel

    This theory, in the light of subsequent research, turned out to be unfounded, while the opposite theory, due to G. Mendel and formulated in an 1866 memoir, was confirmed, according to which hereditary traits are transmitted as units that remain constant and distinct in offspring. Mendel made crosses of plants of the same species distinguished by paired and contrasting characters (high-low, smooth-wrinkly) and by following the statistical distribution of these characters in successive generations he was able to identify his famous laws. He further admitted that each observed character corresponded to an element contained in reproductive cells capable of linking with another in a lasting or temporary way in descendants, without alteration.

    The hypothesis that hereditary characters were produced by material particles contained in reproductive cells, also advanced by A. Weissmann after 1880, was rejected by many as a speculative conception inspired by materialism and mechanism. Mendel’s laws therefore remained unknown and in any case not understood by the few who knew them until the early 20th century, when H. De Vries, C. Correns and E. von Tschermak confirmed their soundness with their work.