The Father of Modern Genetics
Mendel was an Austrian monk who utilized his monastery's gardens to conduct hisexperiments. Mendel was curious about how traits were inherited. To satisfy his enthusiasm he began conducting experiments on pea plants so he could see first hand how they passed on their traits. Due to Mendel's experimentation he was able to uncover and coin the phrase dominant and recessive traits leading him into the Law of Segregation and the discovery of basic genetics.
Mendel used the garden peas (Pisum sativum) to conduct his experiments. The pea plants were an excellent choice for him to use because they contained 7 key characteristics. Mendel realized that each pea plant had a distinctive flower, seed and pod color, different seed and pod shape and they could also be distinguished by their flower position and plant height. Using these characteristics he was able to create rules that helped him predict heredity patterns.
Mendel created monohybrid crosses of his pea plants to conduct his experiments. To do this he allowed his first generation of plants to true-breed. Mendel did this by allowing the first generation to self-pollinate for several generations creating the P generation. He went on to cross-pollinate P generation plants containing contrasting traits in turn creating what he called the first filial generation. After this pollination and germination took place Mendel recorded the characteristics that each plant contained. The final step of his experiments was allowing the first filial generation to self-pollinate thus creating the second filial generation. Mendel again counted the characteristics of each second filial generation plant.
Johnson, G., Raven, P., (2005) Biology The Living Environment. Holt, Rinehart and WInston