A considerable amount of experimental work on hybridization of plants was carried out long before Mendel evincing interesting and valuable results. But it was Mendel who could for the first time elucidate and formulate the laws involved in the inheritance of parental characters by the offspring in this connation the following workers of the pre-Mendelian period deserve special mention.
The first authentic work on artificial hybridization of plants was done by a German botanist, Joseph Kolreuter by name, in 1760. He hybridized two species of tobacco plants (Nicotiana paniculata and N. rustica). The progeny were intermediate between the two parents in respect of many characters.
This was conclusive evidence to show for the first time that the pollen (male) parent also influences the characters of the progeny. John Goss (1820) in England hybridized two types of pea plants one with bluish seeds and the other with yellowish-white seeds.
In the first generation the seeds were all yellowish-white but in the second generation both bluish and yellowish- white seeds appeared. In 1854 Naudin was awarded a prize by the Paris Academy for his valuable work on plant hybridization.
He showed that the parental characters did not actually blend in the offspring of the first generation; he further showed that the characters reappeared separately in parental forms in the second generation of the cross.
He also made reciprocal crosses and proved the identity of the first generation. He almost hit upon the laws of heredity but failed to enunciate them because he did not count the number of progeny.