Kolreuter used tall and dwarf varieties of tobacco for hybridization and found that all first generation hybrids had intermediate size. These hybrids in the next generation gave plants varying in size from tall to the dwarf parent. Kolreuter could not explain these results and a correct explanation was available only in the early part of the present century in the form of multiple factor hypothesis.
Observations similar to those of Kolreuter were made in the last century by a number of workers. These workers included Gartner (1772-1850), Naudin (1815-1899), and Darwin (1809-1882). They also discovered like Kolreuter (1763) that reciprocal crosses give similar results. However, these workers could not give a numerical treatment to their results, as Mendel did in 1866 and therefore could not understand the mechanism of inheritance. In many of these cases actually the object was only to obtain improved varieties of plants for use in agriculture and horticulture, rather than to understand the mechanism of inheritance.
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