Inheritance Patterns - 2Prior to Mendel, the subject of inheritance was mostly guesswork. Although thepractice of selective animal and plant breeding was well established, virtuallynothing was known of the mechanisms of inheritance beyond the presence of anegg and a sperm in animals, and pollen and carpel in plants.It was generally believed at that time that characteristics of parents were"blended" in offspring since offspring generally had features of both parents. Noone went so far as to question why, after several generations, variations still werepresent, since differences over time should have been thoroughly blended.The subject of variation among individuals and how different variants were passedon (or apparently not passed on) from generation to generation was veryimportant to science in the 1800's. Mendel's work coincided with the publicationsof Darwin and Wallace, who addressed variation among the individuals of
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