How a 19th century Austrian monk explained the rules of genetic inheritance before anyone even knew genes existed.
- Before the discovery of genes, Austrian monk Gregor Mendel described three laws of inheritance in the mid 19th century.
- The Law of Segregation - gene pairs separate during sex cell formation and alleles unite at fertilisation.
- The Law of Independent Assortment - the way in which alleles separate then reunite is independent of other genes.
- The Law of Dominance - when two alleles for a gene are different, one is dominant and one is recessive.
In the mid 19th century, an Austrian monk named Gregor Mendel revolutionised the study of inheritance, describing the transmission of genetic traits before anyone even knew genes existed.
By experimenting with pea plants, Mendel learned that physical traits, such as height or hair colour, are determined by genes passed on from ...