Pioneers of Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (PMIA)

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1903 Castle, W.E.
The heredity of sex.
Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 40: 187-218

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The publication date of this paper is January 1903.

In this paper, Castle builds on the speculation of Bateson and Saunders (1902, Part III; see above) by evaluating available evidence on sex, from which he concludes strongly that sex is inherited in a Mendelian manner.

On page 191, Castle again unambiguously embraces Mendelism:

“Perhaps the greatest discovery, made in the study of heredity is what is commonly known as Mendel’s Law.”

He continues:

“Bateson and Saunders [1902, Reports to the Evolution Committee of the Royal Society 1: 125-160; see commentary above] in a recent paper suggest that sex may be inherited in accordance with that law. In the light of this suggestion certain phenomena of sex are in this paper examined, and found to have their almost perfect parallels in recognised Mendelian phenomena. In consequence we get a new point of view from which to study the phenomena of sex, and many of its long-time mysteries find ready explanation.”

After evaluating the available evidence, Castle concludes (page 214):

“Sex is an attribute of every gamete, whether egg or spermatozoon, and is not subject to control through environment. It is inherited in accordance either with Mendel’s law of heredity [among dioecious animals and plants] or [in the case of hermaphroditic animals and plants] with the principle of mosaic heredity.”


1902 Bateson, W., Saunders, E.R. (1902) Experimental studies in the physiology of heredity. Part III. The facts of heredity in the light of Mendel's discovery. Reports to the Evolution Committee of the Royal Society 1: 125-160. View this paper