On this day 200 years ago, Johann Mendel was born. He would come to be known as Gregor (the religious name he received upon entering St. Thomas's Abbey in Austria-Hungary as an Augustinian Friar) and later as the "father of modern genetics." Mendel studied math, physics, and eventually botany in...
The friar’s experiments laid the groundwork for genetics — and his understated approach to his work is inspirational. You have full access to this article via your institution. Genetics is fiendishly complex. We know this from decades of molecular biology, from the resulting studies on the sequencing and...
Born July 20th, 1822, in today's Czech Republic, Gregor Mendel was a monk and a teacher of mathematics and natural sciences, best known for discovering the basic principles of heredity. Through cross-breeding pea plants grown in his monastery, Mendel deciphered how certain traits, like the shape of the peas and color of the flowers, passed from one generation to the next. While his findings were largely ignored at the time, they were rediscovered and accepted decades later, and Mendel is now celebrated as the "father of modern genetics". Mendel's laws of inheritance, along with the discovery of DNA and genes, were eventually part of the "modern synthesis" of Darwin's evolutionary theory.
Developed at a time when the basic molecular and cellular elements of inheritance were yet to be identified, the concepts of dominance and recessiveness are at the core of the connection between genotype and phenotype in diploid organisms. On the occasion of Gregor Mendel's 200th birthday, we reflect on the history of the terms dominant and recessive, and their current use in medical genetics.