kids encyclopedia robot

Gregor Mendel facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Gregor Johann Mendel
Gregor Mendel oval.jpg
Born (1822-07-20)July 20, 1822
Heinzendorf, Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg Austrian Empire
Died January 6, 1884(1884-01-06) (aged 61)
Alma mater University of Vienna
Known for Founding modern genetics
Scientific career
Fields Genetics
Institutions Abbey of St. Thomas in Brünn

Gregor Johann Mendel (Heinzendorf, Austria, 20 July 1822 – Brünn, Austro-Hungary, 6 January 1884) was an Austrian monk and botanist.

He founded genetics by his work cross-breeding pea plants. He discovered dominant and recessive characters (genes) from the crosses he performed on the plants in his greenhouse. What he learnt is known today as Mendelian inheritance.

His work was not appreciated at first, but was 'rediscovered' in 1900 by Carl Correns and Hugo de Vries.

The experiments

Mendel worked with seven characteristics of pea plants: plant height, pod shape and color, seed shape and color, and flower position and color. Taking seed color as an example, Mendel showed that when a true-breeding yellow pea and a true-breeding green pea were cross-bred their offspring always produced yellow seeds. However, in the next generation, the green peas reappeared at a ratio of 1 green to 3 yellow. To explain this phenomenon, Mendel coined the terms "recessive" and "dominant" in reference to certain traits.

In the above example, the green trait, which seems to have vanished in the first generation, is recessive and the yellow is dominant.

He published his work in 1866, demonstrating the actions of invisible "factors"—now called genes - in predictably determining the traits of an organism.

The profound significance of Mendel's work was not recognized until the turn of the 20th century (more than three decades later) with the rediscovery of his laws. Hugo de Vries and Carl Correns independently verified several of Mendel's experimental findings in 1900, ushering in the modern age of genetics.

Related pages

kids search engine
Gregor Mendel Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.