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Reginald Punnet was born in 1875 in the town of Ton-bridge in Kent, England. While recovering from a childhood bout of appendicitis, Punnet became acquainted with Jardine's Naturalist's Library and developed an interest in natural history. Punnet was educated at Clifton College.Attending Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge, Punnet earned a degree in zoology in 1898, and a masters in 1901Between these degrees he worked as a demonstrator and part-time lecturer at the University of St. Andrew's Natural History Department. In October 1901, Punnett was back at Cambridge when he was elected to a Fellowship at Gonville and Caius College,www.dnaftb.org
Using poultry and sweet peas, Punnet and Bate-son discovered some of the fundamental processes of Mendelian genetics, including linkage, sex determination, sex linkage, and the first example of autosomal. In 1910 Bateson and Punnett founded the Journal of Genetics, which they jointly edited until Bateson’s death (1926). In 1912 Punnett became a fellow of the Royal Society of London and was named professor of genetics at Cambridge.
During World War I, when many foods were scarce, Punne t pointed out the value of employing sex-linked plumage-colour factors to distinguish male from female chickens; early identification of the less valuable males was thus made possible. The process, known as auto-sexing, is treated in his Heredity in Poultry (1923).
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