Gregor Mendel experimented with growing sweet peas and worked out the underlying rules of inheritance.
MEND A PEA
Not MEND AN L
Did he mend a pea? No, he mended an L (Mendel).
Gregor Mendel, born in 1822, was a monk and biologist in what is now the Czech Republic.
He set out to study patterns of inheritance and did this by cross-pollinating sweet pea plants with different characteristics.
The characteristics he investigated included:
He studied the way in which these characteristics were passed from one generation to the next. From his observations, Mendel was able to work out the underlying rules of inheritance.
The Punnett square in the next section graphically illustrates what he found.