1Lecture 33Agricultural Scientic Revolution: GeneticInheritanceThe similarities and dissimilarities between parents and offspring have been commented on from the beginning of the written record. The aphorism “like begets like” is the basis of genetic wisdom. Knowledge of the genetic connection between parents and offspring is implicit in the biblical prohibitions against adultery, which results in ambiguity regarding inheritance and paternity. Similarly, insight into the function of sex in plants dates to Mesopotamia with clear knowledge of pollination in date palms (Fig. 1). Theophrastus was aware of these ancient concepts, but this information became virtually lost until the Dutch botanist Jacob Camerarius (1670) experimentally proved the sexual nature of plants (Fig. 2). Despite the clear relation between parent and offspring there was not a basic way to predict performance. Hereditary theories were murky and the best analysis was a blending of blood although it was understood that some characters could reappear and that certain traits could be sought and maintained in certain lineages.
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