Gregor Mendel

  Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), Austrian monk, whose experimental work became the basis of modern hereditary theory. Mendel was born on July 22, 1822, to a peasant family in Heinzendorf (now Hyn?ice, Czech Republic). He entered the Augustinian monastery at Brünn (now Brno, Czech Republic), which was known as a center of learning and scientific endeavor.

  He later became a substitute teacher at the technical school in Brünn. There Mendel became actively engaged in investigating variation, heredity, and evolution in plants at the monastery's experimental garden. Between 1856 and 1863 he cultivated and tested at least 28,000 pea plants, carefully analyzing seven pairs of seed and plant characteristics.

  His tedious experiments resulted in the enunciation of two generalizations that later became known as the laws of heredity. His observations also led him to coin two terms still used in present-day genetics: dominance, for a trait that shows up in an offspring; and recessiveness, for a trait masked by a dominant gene.

  Mendel published his important work on heredity in 1866. Despite, or perhaps because of, its descriptions of large numbers of experimental plants, which allowed him to express his results numerically and subject them to statistical analysis, this work made virtually no impression for the next 34 years.

  Only in 1900 was his work recognized more or less independently by three investigators, one of whom was the Dutch botanist Hugo Marie de Vries, and not until the late 1920s and the early '30s was its full significance realized, particularly in relation to evolutionary theory.

  As a result of years of research in population genetics, investigators were able to demonstrate that Darwinian evolution can be described in terms of the change in gene frequency of Mendelian pairs of characteristics in a population over successive generations.

  Mendel's later experiments with the hawkweed Hieracium proved inconclusive, and because of the pressure of other duties he ceased his experiments on heredity by the 1870s. He died in Brünn on January 6, 1884.


  孟德尔(Groegor Mendel,1822-1884)出生于捷克摩拉维亚(当时属奥地利)的一个农民家庭,从小就在家里帮助父亲嫁接果树,在学习上已经表现出非凡的才能。1844-1848 年,孟德尔在布隆大学哲学院学习神学,曾选修迪博尔(Diebl,1770-1859)讲授的农学、果树学和葡萄栽培学等课程。1848 年在维也纳大学期间,孟德尔先后师从著名物理学家多普勒(C·Doppler,1803-1853)、物理学家埃汀豪生(A·Ettinghausen)和植物生理学家翁格尔(F·Unger,1800-1870),这三个人对他的科学思想无疑产生了很大影响。当时大多数科学家所惯用的方法是培根式的归纳法,而多普勒则主张,先对自然现象进行分析,从分析中提出设想,然后通过实验来进行证实或否决。埃汀豪生是一位成功地应用数学分析来研究物理现象的科学家,孟德尔曾对他的大作《组合分析》仔细拜读。