Q:

What is particulate inheritance?

A:

Quick Answer

The theory of particulate inheritance was developed by Gregor Mendel and is used to explain how offspring can occasionally develop traits that neither parent possesses. His theory revolved around the idea that offspring receive discrete particles, now called genes, from each parent that carry genetic information.

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Full Answer

Before particulate inheritance, it was believed that offspring received traits that represented a blend of traits from the parents. In many cases, the evidence supported this theory, but the discovery of recessive traits proved a mystery. Mendel realized that these discrete genetic particles could be dominant or recessive and that an organism could carry the genetic material for a specific trait without actually expressing that trait.

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