What Advantages Did Mendel Enjoy By Choosing To Study The Garden Pea ?
Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk, who conducted experiments on pea plants to study the way traits and characteristics pass from the parent plants to the offsprings. His study led him to postulate the laws of inheritance. He is known as the Father of Genetics because it was Mendel who came up with the laws of inheritance.
Mendel chose to study the pea plant because it was easy to grow, and also it grew pretty fast. Gregor Mendel mainly wanted plants he could observe for several generations, and the pea plant was perfect for this. He wanted to find out if there was any similarity from one plea plant to the next, especially when the other pea plant was the off spring. He was intrigued about the concept as to why human beings carried over classic characteristics from their parents or grandparents.
Mendel started observing animals around him before he started cultivating pea plants. However, most of his observations were incomplete. Also, he observed the animals in their natural habitat. So, he could not collect a lot of data.
The advantages that Gregor Mendel enjoyed by choosing to the study the garden pea were that the plants grew very fast; they had a short life cycle; and it was also easy to cross pollinate them and make them reproduce. The reproduced plants, in turn, would also grow fast. All these features of the pea plant helped him to collect the data quickly, and also arrive at conclusions sooner.
In his lifetime, Gregor Mendel grew nearly thirty thousand pea plants. He grew them in the monastery that he lived in. It took him 15 years to publish his findings. However, after his death most of his findings were burnt because he asked the church to do it.
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