Nature of the Gene, History - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Nature of the Gene, History

Although Wilhelm Johannsen coined the term "gene" in 1909, our understanding of the nature of the gene has changed significantly over the course of the twentieth century. Gregor Mendel's elements of inheritance were given a material basis in the chromosome theory of the early twentieth century. Attempts to understand the nature of gene action and mutation spurred interest in the biochemical role and molecular basis of the gene, culminating in the discovery of the structure of DNA.

From Elements to Genes

In 1865, when Mendel articulated the laws of inheritance that now bear his name, he did not use the terms "gene" or " allele." He referred instead to "elements" and "characters." Mendel described the patterns of inheritance he observed in terms of character pairs. These pairs segregate to form the next generation of character pairs and remain independent of the behavior of...

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This section contains 1,883 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Nature of the Gene, History from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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