In 1916, in the very first issue of GENETICS, Calvin Bridges published his proof that genes are carried on chromosomes. One hundred years later, genetics is again at the brink of a major transformation, as efficient genome engineering becomes a reality. During this century of incredible advances, GENETICS, published by the Genetics Society of America, has remained an authoritative record of the field and a crucial forum for scholarly debate, publishing more than 18,000 articles of high-quality, original research on genetics and genomics. Throughout 2016 GENETICS will celebrate this anniversary by examining how our remarkable past has created modern genetics and by starting a conversation about the next century of the field.




GENETICS is launching a new look for its second century, with a fresh logo and a redesigned website featuring a clean, updated user interface. The journal will also publish a series of Commentaries by experts examining where the science of heredity is heading in the second century of GENETICS, on topics ranging from human genetics to population genetics, from ancient DNA, mutagenesis, DNA sequencing, and quantitative genetics to genetics education. Other articles will focus on the history of GENETICS and how significant discoveries of the past shape modern work. Twenty-four GENETICS Classics—influential articles from the journal’s first century—will also be highlighted in a monthly series.  

Centennial article authors include:

Aravinda Chakravarti, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Marty Chalfie, Columbia University

Brian Charlesworth, University of Edinburgh

Andrew Clark, Cornell University

Jerry Coyne, University of Chicago

Evan Eichler, University of Washington

Stan Fields, University of Washington

Barry Ganetzky, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Scott Hawley, Stowers Institute for Medical Research and University of Kansas Medical Center

Bill Hill, University of Edinburgh

Oliver Hobert, Columbia University

Mary-Claire King, university of Washington

Chuck Langley, University of California, Davis

Michael Lynch, Indiana University

Trudy Mackay, North Carolina State University

Svante Pääbo, Max Planck Institute for. Evolutionary Anthropology

Jonathan Pritchard, Stanford University

Jasper Rine, University of California, Berkeley

Noah Rosenberg, Stanford University

Gary Ruvkun, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Jay Shendure, University of Washington

Sarah Tishkoff, University of Pennsylvania

David Valle, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Peter Visscher, University of Queensland

Fred Winston, Harvard Medical School

Bill Wood, University of Colorado, Boulder

The first issue with the new look and anniversary content is published this January, 2016 and features a cover design by Alexander Cagan (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology) commemorating Calvin Bridges’ ground-breaking 1916 article in the journal. Centennial articles from the January issue include:

Centennial Editorial: A New Century of GENETICS

Editor-in-Chief Mark Johnston launches the second century of GENETICS and our year-long centennial celebrations.

The centenary of Genetics: bridges to the future

In the first article published in the first issue of GENETICS, Calvin Bridges provided the world with evidence that genes lie onfor the  chromosomes, theory of inheritance and laid the groundwork for much of the century of genetic research that has followed. In this Perspectives article, Barry Ganetzky and R. Scott Hawley describe the lasting impact the work has had on modern research and how Bridges’ ideas have been built upon and refined.

Sewall Wright on evolution in Mendelian populations and “Shifting Balance”

Associate Editor Nicholas H. Barton introduces Sewall Wright’s 1931 GENETICS Classic, Evolution in Mendelian populations, a remarkable synthesis of population genetics and its application, presenting, in essentially its modern form, the population genetics of allele frequency evolution.

Theodosius Dobzhansky on hybrid sterility and speciation

Jerry A. Coyne introduces Theodosius Dobzhansky’s 1936 GENETICS Classic, Studies on hybrid sterility. II. Localization of sterility factors in Drosophila pseudoobscura hybrids. Recognizing that explaining the existence of species was identical to explaining the origin of “isolating mechanisms” that prevent gene flow, Dobzhansky’s 1936 work was the first concerted effort to work out the genetic changes producing a puzzling reproductive barrier: hybrid sterility.

Admixture models and the breeding systems of H. S. Jennings: a GENETICS connection

The first population genetics work published in GENETICS was H.S. Jennings on The numerical results of diverse systems of breeding, the second article in the journal’s first issue. Associate Editor Noah A. Rosenberg describes how he and Amy Goldberg uncovered a surprising connection between their work on genetic admixture on the X chromosome and Jennings’ 1916 article, showing how Jennings uncovered the X-chromosomal behavior of the Hardy-Weinberg model, anticipated questions of interest in modern admixture studies.

Watch out for more on the anniversary at Genes to Genomes, the GSA blog, including interviews with a new generation of geneticists and striking images from the archives, plus special events at The Allied Genetics Conference (TAGC) July 13-17 in Orlando, Florida.

Illustration depicting Calvin Bridges′ seminal 1916 paper, published in GENETICS. Featuring karyotypes found in the original paper as well as pachytenes and Drosophila melanogaster. Bridges pioneered the use of Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism in genetics. Cover illustration created by Alex Cagan (Max Planck Institute), who says he wanted to capture the sense of excitement and discovery Bridges must have felt at the time. He also describes the karyotypes as a natural form of calligraphy.

Cover of the January, 2015 issue of GENETICS



Bridges, C. B. (1916). Non-disjunction as proof of the chromosome theory of heredity. Genetics, 1(1), 1-52.


Bridges, C. B. (1916). Non-disjunction as proof of the chromosome theory of heredity (concluded). Genetics, 1(2), 107-163


Cristy Gelling is a science writer, lapsed yeast geneticist, and former Communications Director at the GSA.

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