Manuscript of Mendel’s Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden

Experiments with Plant Hybrids

The lectures delivered on 8 February and 8 March 1865 on the occasion of the meeting of the Natural History Society in Brno marked the first public presentations of the conclusions of Mendel’s experiments on hybridization of peas over many years and the findings derived from them, which yielded unique discoveries. The principles of inheritance, on which today’s science is still based, were observed and experimentally verified by Mendel when crossing plant species. He recorded the regularity of hereditary traits and interpreted it using his own method, for which he used statistics. His discoveries were later called Mendel’s laws of heredity. The manuscript, written in German, had a somewhat turbulent fate. It was first deposited in the abbey and later transferred to the Natural History Society on the initiative of Mendel’s biographer Hugo Iltis. After the Second World War it was generally believed to have been destroyed. In 2012 it was returned to the possession of the Order and then in 2015 it was confiscated and exported to Austria under unclear circumstances. In 2017 it was recovered and became part of the collections of the Old Brno Abbey again.