Tag Archive: gregor

Googling a few peas turns up Gregor Mendel.

As I was on google today, I noticed their logo had been turned into some pea pods. Closer investigation shows it is a man called Gregor Mendel’s 189th birthday. A bit more googling, and I realised what a significant man he was.

Mendel, this Czech-German guy did some amazing experiments on peas and then bees – what a nerd! He even created some hybridised bees that were so viscious they had to be destroyed. Later he cut down on the research to concentrate on priesthood and other religious duties.  You don’t see many CVs like this one.

Although he is referred to as the “father of modern genetics” while he was alive, no-one really agreed with or accepted his work. They were in fact the underlying principles in hereditry.

Peas would have been good to experiment because they grow very quickly and have both male and female reproductive organs and can either self pollinate themselves or cross pollinate with another plant. However, from 1856 he grew 29000 pea plants in 7 years! – And no believed what he found out until the 1930s, 36 years after his death in 1884. Its like being a famous artist.

He cross pollinated peas and came up with 7 traits:

1.    flower color is purple or white 5.    seed color is yellow or green
2. flower position is axil or terminal        6. pod shape is inflated or constricted
3. stem length is long or short 7. pod color is yellow or green
4. seed shape is round or wrinkled

Flower colours were nothing in between – only purple or white and not a blend.  But do not let me try to explain it. If you are really interested, there is an excelent website with some great diagrams at :

Excellent info about Mendel’s pea experiments.

Also wikipedia has some good general info about the man at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel

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