Why Did Gregor Mendel Use Pea Plants in His Research?

did-gregor-mendel-use-pea-plants-his-research Credit: Maria Keay/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Gregor Mendel used pea plants in his research on heredity because they had characteristics that were consistent and easy to recognize. Pea plants had other qualities that also made them ideal for cross-pollination.

Pea plants possess features such as seed texture, plant color and height that are easily recognizable and constant. Each of the seven traits that Mendel observed existed in one out of two possible forms.

In pea plants, the color of the flower is either white or purple. The seed shape could be either round or wrinkled. Both the seed color and the pod color could be green or yellow.

Mendel intended to disprove the theory that parent traits were blended, resulting in a mixture of the two traits. With only one of two possible results from cross-pollination, Mendel was able to determine which traits were passed down to the offspring more often.