A gene is the basic unit of heredity in a living organism. The field of genetics predates modern molecular biology, but it is now known that all living things depend on DNA to pass on their traits to offspring.
Genetics is a discipline of biology and the science of heredity and variation in living organisms. The fact that living things inherit traits from their parents has been used since prehistoric times to improve crop plants and animals through selective breeding.
However, the modern science of genetics, which seeks to understand the process of inheritance, only began with the work of Gregor Mendel in the mid-nineteenth century. Although he did not know the physical basis for heredity, Mendel observed that organisms inherit traits in a discrete manner-these basic units of inheritance are now called genes.