In the late 1800s, Gregor Mendel gave us our first glimpse into how traits are inherited.
A fascinating character and an extremely patient experimenter, Mendel was a German friar and scientist who figured out that plants (and presumably animals) had inheritable characteristics.
And finally, there are a series of variations, amongst which no doubt are the mutations of de Vries and the disintegrations and recombinations of the unit factors with which Mendel and his followers have worked, in which the external or environmental factor is most remote from the actual result.
On the other hand, from the experiments of Mendel and others, we now know that crossbred animals and plants may present all the characters of one of their pure-bred parents, and we also know that the offspring of what are regarded as pure-bred parents sometimes revert to remote, it may be quite different, ancestors.
Those who have followed up the work of Mendel believe that the qualities of the new individual are a precise selection from and reconstruction of the parental qualities, and that were complete analysis possible, the characters of the new individual could be predicted with chemical accuracy.
Such mutations are not the product of the environment, but are an outcrop of the constitution of the germinal material of the varying organism, the result either of causes as yet undetected, or of the premutations and eliminations suggested by the work of Mendel (see Mendelism).
All he could do was cross strains of wheat, much in the same fashion as Gregor Mendel did in the 1800s.
The researches of Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884), abbot of the Augustinian monastery at Briinn, in connexion with peas and other plants, apparently indicate that there is a definite natural law at work in the production of hybrids.
Whether this inference is applicable to other classes of cases than those studied by Mendel and his followers is a question which is still under investigation.