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Brief History of Genetics

Rizka Apriani Putri, M.Sc

Dept. of Biology Education, FMIPA, YSU
What is Genetics
Genetics is the study of heredity, the process
in which a parent passes certain genes onto
their children.
( htm)
The Inception of Genetics
How it Begins ?
Theory of Inheritance Before Mendel
- Theory of Acquired Characteristics Lamarck
- Blending Theory of Inheritance
- Pangenesis Darwins inspired by Hippocrates
Mendels Experiment Elementen (Factor)
Chromosome Theory of Inheritance
Chromosomes as hereditary elements
Before Mendel #1 - Lamarckian Inheritance

To explain why some

features persisted while
others disappeared,
Lamarck invoked use and
disuse and the inheritance
of acquired characters (B.K
Hall, 2011)
#2 . Blending Theory of Inheritance
predominant theory during 19th century
1. germ cells contained sample of essences from each
somatic cell
2. problem: clearly not all traits blended e.g:

#Blue eyes X dark eyes dark eyes (rather than dark

blue eyes)
#3. Pangenesis
Darwin coined the concept of gemmules, which he said referred to
hypothesized minute particles of inheritance thrown off by all cells of the
Basically, this theory combination of Lammarcks theory and Blending
The theory suggested that an organism's environment could modify the
gemmules in any parts of the body, and that these modified gemmules
would congregate in the reproductive organs of parents to be passed on to
their offspring.
Darwin's theory of pangenesis gradually lost popularity in the 1890s when
biologists increasingly abandoned the theory of inheritance of acquired
characteristics (IAC), on which the pangenesis theory partially relied.
(Zou, Yawen, 20--)
Mendels Experiment
Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)

Versuche ber Pflanzen-Hybriden/

Experiments in Plant Hybridization
Mendels Laws
Mendel developed three
fundamental principles of
Principle of Dominance
Principle of Segregation
Principle of Independent
One of Mendels Laws :
The Principle of Segregation
Factors (genes) are neither
changed nor blended in the
heterozygote during
reproduction, but segregate
from each other to be
transmitted as discrete particles

Figure 02: Mendels results for the

inheritance of seed shape (smooth or
wrinkled) in pea plants
The Importance of Mendels experiment and
the results
Traits observed in offsprings are not a blend from both parents
Each trait were determined by a pair of factors (elementen) which
separated during the formation of gamet
Reminder : during Mendels time the terms of Genes, chromosomes,
Locus, Alleles, Meiosis, Mitosis were not yet coined or even discovered
He was ahead of his time
The use of mathematical/statistical approach in Biology/Natural history
In the near future Discovery of Chromosomes, Meiosis lead to another
theory of Inheritance Chromosomal Theory of Inheritance
Development of Genetics
Mendels work lost for 35 years
Rediscovered in 1900s by three researchers in field of Plant
Breeding : Hugo de Vries, Carl Correns and Erick von
Tschermak Independently worked in Plant breedings
Reaching the same conclusion as Mendels
After Mendel
The Chromosomes theory of Inheritance
postulated independently by two scientists in 1902 that genetic
information is carried by chromosomes, Boveri and Sutton

Walter Sutton
The chromosome theory of inheritance is based on a few fundamental
1. Chromosomes contain the genetic material
2. Chromosomes are replicated and passed along from parent to offspring
3. The nuclei of most eukaryotic cells contain chromosomes that are found in
homologous pairs . During meiosis, each homologue segregates into one of
the two daughter nuclei
4. During the formation of gametes, different types of (nonhomologous)
chromosomes segregate independently
5. Each parent contributes one set of chromosomes to its offspring
The sets are functionally equivalent Each carries a full complement of genes

The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display

CToI Accepted theory of inheritance now : no longer a theory
but universally accepted fact Law with some modification
Recent development shows that genes are responsible for traits and
they are located in chromosomes.
{Additional inheritance mechanism extranuclear inheritance e.g.
mitochondria and chloroplast}
Environmental factors plays important roles no changes in DNA
sequences but why there are different expresions of the same gene ?
EPIGENETICS! (=beyond genetics)
1900 1940s more research, more discoveries the word gene used for
the first time, Jumping Gene (Transposable elements), genes located
inside chromosomes
1950s Searching for the true forms of Genetics material DNA Structure
the beginning of the new era of genetics DNA era
Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, James Watson and Francis Crick DNA
X Ray Diffraction Image by RF, Ray Gosling and MW analyzed by JW and
FC (without RF permission, unfortunately) DNA Structure revealed in 1953
Nobel in Physiology or Medicine, 1962
Nobel were given only for MW, JW and FC Rosalind Franklin passed away
before Nobel prize was awarded for their achievement
The story of the unveiling of the double helix is messy and complex,
just like all biology. It has been pored over and studied and embellished
and mythologised. But simply, the race was won by Crick and Watson,
and in April 1953 they revealed to the world the iconic double helix.
The key evidence, however, Photo 51, was produced by Rosalind
Franklin and Ray Gosling, at Kings College London. Franklins skill at the
technique known as X-ray crystallography was profound, and was
indubitably essential to the discovery. Crick and Watson acquired the
photo without her knowledge.

More discoveries .......

Discovery of DNA polymerase

Chargaff Rule C-G, A-T always have the same proportion
Semiconservative DNA Replication
mRNA carries information
Cracking of genetics code
Restriction enzyme discovered
1970s more techniques were discovered, including Cloning and
DNA recombination technology
1980s PCR and Genome Sequencing for the first time The
begining of OMICs Era
Begins in 1980s
Not only about the DNA structure but also about the expression of
DNA fragments aka GENES Genomics, Transcriptomics, Proteomics,
Metabolomics, Metagenomics, so on...
2003 99% of human genome sequenced with 99,9 % accuracy
2012 CRISPR/CAS 9 universally used for gene editing Gene
drives Accurate and the most important , it defies Mendelian
Next Era ?
Next meeting : Mendelian genetics
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