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Elementary Science Education

Mendel’s pea experiments

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      Bernard Nebel

      The first person to seriously examine how certain traits were passed from one generation to the next was Gregor Mendel. The following video depicts his experiments with peas and his conclusions.

      Highlight the basic features of Mendel’s experiments. 

      1. He chose to examine the inheritance of distinct variations of certain characteristics. For example: characteristic: seed shape. Variations: smooth, wrinkled. He crossed pure breeding lines of each.
      2. Results: First generation: all smooth. He grew and crossbred these: 
      3. Results: 75 percent had smooth seeds; 25 percent had wrinkled seed.
      4. Mendel repeated the same sort of experimentation with 6 additional characteristics: plant height, pod shape, flower color, position of flowers on stem, and others

      e.     In each case, he got the same sort of results. One of the variants was not seen in the first generation but reappeared in 25 percent of the second generation. (Move on to: How Mendel interpreted his results.)

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