This painted piece of art is a celebration to Gregor Johann Mendel. He performed experiments to learn about the heredity of traits not only on peas but also on mice and bees.

In the picture you can see the famous pea plant Pisum Sativum, and the Punnett square is laying on the floor, explaining the different phenotypes of the pea shape depending on the alternative genotypes. The wrinkled pea seeds lack an enzyme called starch-branching enzyme (SBE1). The reduced starch production, results in a higher sugar content and wrinkled seeds. The recessive SBE1 variant actually has an insertion of about 800 base pairs of DNA. In the background, behind the mouse you can see the three different genotypes of the SBE1 gene on an agarose gel, where the wrinkled pea band is in the middle

The principles Mendel founded in genetics explain how we inherit our eye color, hair color and even tongue-rolling ability. Alicia Bergsten the scientist together with the excellent artist, Christin Björk who’s style is to bring animals into life, in a comic and vibrant way, are hoping to capture the greatness of the discovery with this painting.

Picture by Christin Björk

The Mendel Award was designed by Christin Björk and Alicia Bergsten.