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In seven pairs of contrasting characters in a pea plant studied by Mendel, the number of flower based characters were
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint: In his experiment, George Mendel used seven traits of Pisum sativum. These traits included: flower colour (purple or white), flower position (axial or terminal), seed colour (yellow or green), seed shape (round or wrinkled), pod colour (yellow or green), pod shape (inflated or constricted), and stem length (long or short).

Complete step by step answer: George Mendel worked on Pisum sativum for his experiments in genetics. He studied seven characteristics of plants including plant height, pod shape and pod colour, seed shape and seed colour, and flower position and flower colour. For example, from his observation of seed colour, Mendel demonstrated that when cross breeding is done between a true-breeding yellow pea and a true-breeding green pea, all the F1 generation had yellow seeds. On the other hand, in the F2 generation, the green peas returned at a ratio of 1 green pea to 3 yellow peas. To explain this occurrence, Mendel gave the terms ‘recessive’ and ‘dominant’ to certain traits according to their appearance in both generations. Out of these seven character traits, Mendel selected only two traits namely flower colour - purple (dominant) and white (recessive) and flower position - axial (dominant) and terminal (recessive).
So, the correct answer is option B.

Additional information: The immense implication of Mendel's work was recognized more than three decades (later the turn of the 20th century) when his laws were rediscovered. Four scientists, Erich von Tschermak, Hugo de Vries, Carl Correns and William Jasper Spillman independently verified the findings of Mendel's experiment, which earned Mendel the title of ‘Father of Genetics’.

Note: Mendel chose Pisum sativum (garden peas) for his experiment because they can be grown easily, are sown every year, their flowers contain both male and female parts, namely, stamen and stigma, and they generally self-pollinate. Peas can be grown and monitored easily and the pollination can also be controlled easily.