What is Mendelian Inheritance?
Gregor Mendel, a 19th Century monk, figured out from his study of pea plants that certain genetic characteristics were “dominant” and some “recessive.” As a result, in order for a recessive characteristic to be passed on to a child, both parents had to have the same recessive characteristic (or gene) and the child had to receive one of each of them. Thus, as both parents will pass on one of two genes, there was a one-in-four chance that a recessive gene would occur in offspring. For more information on Mendelian Inheritance, you can visit the Centre for Genetic Information
(link opens new window) in Sydney, Australia (http://www.genetics.com.au/factsheet/06.htm).