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Mendel, Gregor (1822–1884)

Gregor Mendel was an Augustinian monk and botanist who is considered the founder of genetics for having formulated a series of laws regulating the transmission of features through different generations of plants. In a series of experiments with peas during the 1850s and 1860s, he proved that characteristics such as size and color were combined independently in hybrid plants from different parents. He also demonstrated that there was a hierarchy in transmission of certain contrasting characteristics—for example, a crossing between a tall and a short pea plant always yielded tall—and that a given characteristic could be transmitted to further generations despite not being visibly shown in an offspring pea—two tall plants could yield a short one due to their ancestors. In the early 20th century, ...

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