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The Origins of Genetics

(Ch. 8-1)
 Heredity is the passing of traits from
parents to offspring.
 Gregor Mendel was the first to develop
rules to accurately predict patterns of
 Mendel mainly worked with pea plants
(Pisum sativum)
 Lived in the 1800’s
 Mendel was a priest, then went to the
University of Vienna to study Science and
 Mendel repeated the experiments of
British farmer T.A. Knight.
 Knight crossed purple flowers with white
 All of the offspring had purple flowers
 However, when the purple-flowered
offspring were crossed, they produced
purple AND white flowers!
 Mendel counted the numbers of each
kind of offspring (Quantitative
Why the Pea?
1 – The Pea plant has many traits that have
2 forms that are easy to tell apart.

Ex. Flower color (either purple or white)

2 – Mating of the plants can be controlled

- Crossing a plant is done by removing the

stamen (male part) and using it to dust the
pistil (female part) of another plant.
3 – Peas are small, they grow easily, mature
quickly, and produce many offspring.

 Quick results & plenty of samples to count.

 Traits
are expressed as simple ratios.
 Mendel’s experiments were called
Monohybrid crosses.
 Crosswith 1 pair of contrasting traits
 Ex. White flower of Purple flower
 Mendel carried out his experiments in 3
1 – Allowed each plant to self-pollinate
- true breeding
Parents were called “Parental Generation”
2 – Cross-pollinated two parent plants
(Two P-Generation plants)
 Offspring of the P-generation are called

F1 (Filial Generation).
- Offspring counted and traits recorded.
3 – F1 generation allowed to self-pollinate
 These offspring were called F2
(2nd Fillial generation)
- Offspring counted and traits recorded.
 The results…
 In the F1 generation, ALL of the pea
plants had purple flowers
 In the F2 generation, 705 plants had
purple flowers and 224 plants had white
 A ratio is a comparison of two numbers
that have the same unit.
** Always reduce to simple form when using
ratios! **
 To find ratios, divide each number by the
smaller of the two numbers.
 Ex.705/224 ~ 3 Purple flowers
224/224 = 1 White flower
The resulting ratio of the purple flowers to
white flowers is 3 to 1 (3:1).