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Mendel: from genes to genome


Sussmilch, FC and Ross, JJ and Reid, JB, Mendel: from genes to genome, Plant physiology, 190, (4) pp. 2103-2114. ISSN 1532-2548 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1093/plphys/kiac424


Two hundred years after the birth of Gregor Mendel, it is an appropriate time to reflect on recent developments in the discipline of genetics, particularly advances relating to the prescient friar's model species, the garden pea (Pisum sativum L.). Mendel's study of seven characteristics established the laws of segregation and independent assortment. The genes underlying four of Mendel's loci (A, LE, I, and R) have been characterized at the molecular level for over a decade. However, the three remaining genes, influencing pod color (GP), pod form (V/P), and the position of flowers (FA/FAS), have remained elusive for a variety of reasons, including a lack of detail regarding the loci with which Mendel worked. Here, we discuss potential candidate genes for these characteristics, in light of recent advances in the genetic resources for pea. These advances, including the pea genome sequence and reverse-genetics techniques, have revitalized pea as an excellent model species for physiological-genetic studies. We also discuss the issues that have been raised with Mendel's results, such as the recent controversy regarding the discrete nature of the characters that Mendel chose and the perceived overly-good fit of his segregations to his hypotheses. We also consider the relevance of these controversies to his lasting contribution. Finally, we discuss the use of Mendel's classical results to teach and enthuse future generations of geneticists, not only regarding the core principles of the discipline, but also its history and the role of hypothesis testing.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Mendel, pea, genes, mapping, loci
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Developmental genetics (incl. sex determination)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Sussmilch, FC (Dr Frances Sussmilch)
UTAS Author:Ross, JJ (Associate Professor John Ross)
UTAS Author:Reid, JB (Professor Jim Reid)
ID Code:155713
Year Published:2022
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE200101133)
Deposited By:Biological Sciences
Deposited On:2023-03-07
Last Modified:2023-03-18

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