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Chromosome spread

​Mendel, Johann (Gregor)

updated: June 23, 2024


Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk in the 19th century who worked out the basic laws of inheritance through experiments with pea plants. In his monastery garden, Mendel performed thousands of crosses with pea plants, discovering how characteristics are passed down from one generation to the next — namely, dominant and recessive traits. Mendel’s early experiments provided the basis of modern genetics.


Johann Gregor Mendel. We now know that Mendel's modes of inheritance, specifically dominant and recessive, using single genes are only one of the few ways that genes can influence traits. While Mendel's fundamental findings are extremely important, the inheritance of many, many traits is much more complicated.

Lawrence Brody
Lawrence Brody, Ph.D.


Division of Genomics and Society