(July 20/22, 1822, Heinzendorf bei Odrau, Austrian Silesia, Austria-Hungary – January 6, 1884, Brünn, Bohemia Austria-Hungary (aged 61)
Nationality: Czech Republic, Austria
Unique distinction: The father of modern genetics, discoverer the laws of inheritance. Ethnicity German with Austrian Ancestry. Religion: Roman Catholic.
1. My scientific studies have afforded me great gratification; and I am convinced that it will not be long before the whole world acknowledges the results of my work.
2. I am convinced that it will not be long before the whole world acknowledges the results of my work.
3. The value and utility of any experiment are determined by the fitness of the material to the purpose for which it is used, and thus in the case before us it cannot be immaterial what plants are subjected to experiment and in what manner such experiment is conducted.
4. To live without experiencing some shame and blushes of admiration would surely be a wretched life.
5. The value and utility of any experiment are determined by the fitness of the material to the purpose for which it is used, and thus in the case before us it cannot be immaterial what plants are subjected to experiment and in what manner such experiment is conducted.
Achievements and contributions:
The main contribution to (what is known): Mendel was an Austrian botanist, Augustinian monk, abbot, who discovered the fundamental principles of genetics and laid the foundations of modern genetics. His system is one of the basic principles of biology.
Mendel’s Laws of Heredity:
The law of unit characters (genes) says that characteristics of an individual are controlled by hereditary factors, by paired elementary units, now known as genes.
The law of dominance says that some inherited factors are dominant and can mask other, recessive factors.
The law of segregation says that the factors of a pair are separated during reproduction, so only one goes to a particular offspring.
The law of independent assortment says that an organism’s individual traits are passed on independently of one another.
Mendel’s principle of incomplete dominance is that for some characteristics neither gene is dominant.
He published his results in 1865, but his paper was ignored. The importance of Mendel’s work was not recognized until 1900, when three botanists, Carl Erich Correns, Erich Tschermak von Seysenegg, and Hugo de Vries working independently reached similar conclusions and, in the process, discovered his paper.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the theory of modern evolutionary synthesis was created, which combined Mendelian genetics with Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
His system proved to be of general application and is one of the basic principles of biology.
Major works: Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybride (“Treatises on Plant Hybrids”) (1865).
Career and personal life:
His ancestors were farmers, and his father still had to work three days a week as a serf. Mendel displayed a great love for nature all his life. During his childhood, Mendel worked as a gardener and studied beekeeping.
Education: In 1831 he was sent to the Piarist school in Lipník (Leipnik) and at the age of 12 to the grammar school in Opava (Troppau). As a young man, he attended the Philosophical Institute in Olomouc in 1840–1843. From 1844 to 1848 he studied at the Theological Institute Briinn and later at the University of Vienna.
From 1844 to 1848 he studied at the Theological Institute Briinn. In 1847 he has ordained a priest and served for a short time as vicar at the Old Brno Monastery.
In 1851 he was sent to the University of Vienna to study, returning to his abbey in 1853 as a teacher, principally of physics. The Augustinians taught philosophy, foreign languages, mathematics, and natural sciences at secondary schools and universities.
At that time along with his teaching and theological studies, Mendel took courses in agriculture, pomiculture, and vine growing at the Institute of Philosophy in Brno.
Surrounded by an atmosphere of dynamic activity, Mendel found optimum conditions for his studies and later for his research work.
He was inspired by both his professors at university and his colleagues at the monastery to study variation in plants, which he conducted from 1856 to 1865 in the monastery’s garden. Mendel was made abbot of the St. Thomas Monastery in 1868 and was no longer engaged in biological research.
Between 1856 and 1865 he performed experiments with the pea plant and his discoveries became the mathematical foundation and basis of the science of genetics.
In his spare time, during 10 years, he grew at least 29,000 pea plants. He carefully cross-pollinated them, wrapping to guard against cross-pollination, then noted what sort of plants developed from the seeds.
He catalogued successive generations of pea plants with statistical precision, looking for clues to how distinct traits such as height (tall or short), flower colour (green or yellow), and pod shape were reproduced.
Personal life: Mendel was a good-natured and peaceful man. His parishioners, students and monks liked him. He did not have a wife and children.
From the forty years and until his death, Mendel was suffering from overweight.
In his monastic house was arranged a small menagerie.
Mendel died on 6 January 1884, at the age of 61, in Brünn (Brno), Moravia, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic).
Zest: Charles Darwin was unaware of Mendel’s paper. Mendel died never knowing that he would come to be known as the father of genetics.
After his death the succeeding abbot burned all papers in Mendel’s collection, to mark an end to the disputes over taxation.