Study Guide

The Gene - "Flowers He Loved" (Part One) Summary & Analysis

Siddhartha Mukherjee
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Summary

In 1856, after studying at the university in Vienna, Mendel tried to take the teacher's exam again but did not finish the test. Instead, he turned to experimenting with pea plants, studying variations, heredity, and breeding. With time, he began to reach some conclusions about heredity. First, he perceived that individual inheritable traits "did not blend at all" (50). As he wrote, "the hybrid character [...] resembled one of the parental forms" (50). This is how he came to dub some traits as dominant and others as recessive. By further breeding hybrids, Mendel also discovered that recessive inheritable traits can reappear in a subsequent generation. He concluded that every trait is determined by an "independent, indivisible particle of information" and that each particle comes in a different variant. Children (or pea plants) then inherit one copy from each parent, "when a hybrid was created...

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This section contains 569 words
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