Mutant

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Mutants are organisms that are genetically different from wild-type organisms. This difference is usually an effect of mutations. There can be different kinds of mutations that can lead to a development of a mutant organism. Those can be substitution, insertion or deletion of one or more base pairs in an organism's DNA sequence. Those mutations create mutant DNA which codes for mutant RNA which in turns produces mutant proteins and those are responsible for the organism's mutant phenotype.[1]

Not all mutant organisms suffer deformities or other medical conditions. Some mutations are harmless like those that cause a change in animal's coat or eye colour.

Mutations and mutants are important from evolutionary point of view. They ensure a large variety of alleles in a gene pool of population. That in turn provides a population with better chances of adapting to changing environmental conditions. In some cases mutations ensured a survival of the whole population and sometimes it led to a creation of a completely new species.[2]

References

  1. Hartl D.L and Ruvolo M. (2012) Genetics: Analysis of genes and genomes, 8th edition, London:Jones & Bartlett Learning, pp.27-28
  2. New Scientist (2008) Evolution myths: Mutations can only destroy information. [On-line] Available from: Evolution myths: Mutations can only destroy information [Accessed: 24th of November 2014]
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