Lesson Worksheet: The History of Genetics Biology

In this worksheet, we will practice describing how and why our understanding of genetics has changed over time.


What piece of equipment was used by scientists to view chromosomes and provide evidence to support Mendel’s ideas?

  • AElectron microscopes
  • BMagnifying glasses
  • CLight microscopes
  • DTelescopes
  • EComputers


Who published the theory that the structure of DNA was a double helix?

  • ADarwin and Franklin
  • BWatson and Crick
  • CWatson and Holmes
  • DMendel and Darwin


Who successfully constructed an image of DNA using X-rays and had their work shared without their permission?

  • AMaurice Wilkins
  • BGregor Mendel
  • CJames Watson
  • DRosalind Franklin
  • EFrancis Crick


Mendel carried out experiments to determine how characteristics were inherited. How did he do this?

  • AMendel crossed the flowers between plants and observed what happened.
  • BMendel crossed male and female gametes between rats and raised the offspring.
  • CMendel planted different species of plants together to see if they would reproduce.
  • DMendel took cuttings from different plants and grew them elsewhere.
  • EMendel crossed male and female gametes between plants and grew the offspring.


Who had their ideas published first, Mendel or Darwin?

  • AMendel
  • BDarwin


Gregor Mendel is known as the father of modern genetics. On what organisms did he carry out his experiments?

  • AMice
  • BPotato plants
  • CBluebells
  • DPea plants
  • ERats


The structure of DNA had not yet been discovered when Mendel carried out his experiments. Mendel described gametes as having factors which could come in different versions, some of which were more powerful and were always seen in an organism whenever they were present. The key terms he used have now changed due to our improved understanding of genetics.

What term is most appropriate to give to factors today?

  • AGenotype
  • BGenes
  • CDNA
  • DNucleotides
  • ECharacteristics

What term now describes versions of a factor?

  • AGene
  • BPhenotype
  • CChromosome
  • DAllele
  • EGenome

What is the term given now to a factor that is more powerful and always expressed?

  • ARecessive
  • BGene
  • CDominant
  • DHeterozygous
  • EMutated


What is the relationship between alleles and genes?

  • AAlleles are different forms of the same gene.
  • BGenes and alleles are different words for the same thing.
  • CGenes are different forms of the same allele.

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