How did Mendel’s approach to answering scientific questions differ from that of his contemporaries?

Gregor Mendel could not be described as a typical scientist. When compared with his contemporaries, he indeed was described as a failure. However, Gregor Mendel was able to eliminate confounders by using true breeding stocks for his crossings. With this, he was able to exclude confounders that could have interfered with the conclusions he came to at the end of his experiment. Moreover, he was able to isolate the various characteristics and study them systematically.  In addition, the choice of his plant was appropriate as he was able to study the distinct characteristics that the pea plant possess. One other characteristic that the pea plant possessed was that it grows in large numbers and its production can be easily manipulated. Since the production of this plant could be easily controlled, he was able to grow a large number of the plant in a relatively short period of time. The pea plant that he chose also had the ability to self pollinate itself and also cross pollinate. Also, Mendel took the pain of mathematically analyzing the mode of inheritance of these characters, Thereafter he was able to come up with definite ratios as to the mode of inheritance of these characteristics.

How did his novel approach contribute to his success in describing how traits are inherited?

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This approach was instrumental to the overall success of his experiment. With his approach, he was able to study a large number of plants at the same time. Also, since the characteristics that he was studying at that time were minimal in number, it was not too difficult to keep up with the modes of expression of these characteristics. Also, he was able to establish true breeding stocks even before beginning to test the characters by self- and cross –pollinating the flowers. The success of the experiment was also driven by the fact that the characteristics that he was studying at that time were phenotypically expressed. This means that he could literarily see the genes in action. He was able to observe the expression of the different characters and make the proper inference from them.

What advantages did he enjoy by choosing to study the garden pea?

Gregor Mendel made a good decision to study the Pea plant because of the inherent abilities that the plant possessed. One is the fact that the plant had distinct phenotypical characteristics that were expressed. Another is that he had the luxury of controlling the reproduction of the plant by choosing either to self- or cross- pollinate the plants as the case may be. Also, he was able to document the characters that he would be studying even before commencing the experiment as he established true breeding stocks for each character.

Some of Mendel’s Hypotheses

·         each individual possess two alleles for each and every gene. these two alleles may either be identical or different. the identical alleles give rise to a homozygous trait for the characteristic the gene codes for. if the alleles are different however, the individual is said to be heterozygous for that trait

·         Before reproduction, each pair of alleles are separated so that haploid reproductive cells contain only one copy of the allele that codes for that particular characteristic. These are combined in the new offspring.

·         Some genes are dominant. This means that individuals that are heterogenous for this gene can still express them. They do not require both copy of the allele to express the trait. They need only one. The recessive allele, on the other hand is masked in this case. With this in mind, a conclusion can be drawn that the phenotypical characteristic of an individual does not always reflect the genotype of that individual for that particular characteristic. Recessive genes remain unexpressed as long as there is a dominant gene, which is always expressed.

 

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