At Scientific Reports we are commemorating the 200th anniversary of , considered the “father of modern genetics”. To mark the occasion we published a collection bringing together papers that exemplify how Mendel’s findings remain relevant to this day, and showcase some of the advances and remaining challenges in genetics and evolutionary research.
Born July 20th, 1822, in today’s Czech Republic, Gregor Mendel was a monk and a teacher of mathematics and natural sciences, best known for discovering the basic principles of heredity. Through cross-breeding pea plants grown in his monastery, Mendel deciphered how certain traits, like the shape of the peas and color of the flowers, passed from one generation to the next. While his findings were largely ignored at the time, they were rediscovered and accepted decades later. Mendel’s laws of inheritance, along with the discovery of DNA and genes, were eventually part of the “modern synthesis” of Darwin’s evolutionary theory.