- rules of inheritance based on the breeding experiments of the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel (1822-84), which showed that the inheritance of characteristics is controlled by particles now known as gene. In modern terms they are as follows. (1) Each body (somatic) cell of an individual carries two factors (genes) for every characteristic and each gamete carries only one. It is now known that the genes are arranged on chromosomes, which are present in pairs in somatic cells and separate during gamete formation by the process of meiosis. (2) Each pair of factors segregates independently of all other pairs at meiosis, so that the gametes show all possible combinations of factors. This law applies only to genes on different chromosomes; those on the same chromosome are affected by linkage. See also dominant, recessive.
* * *two laws of inheritance of single-gene traits described by Gregor Mendel, derived from data obtained from his experimental crosses of pea plants; now usually expressed as the law of segregation (the members of a pair of allelic genes segregate from one another and pass to different gametes) and the law of independent assortment (genes that are not alleles are distributed to the gametes independently of one another).
Medical dictionary. 2011.
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