Genetic mutation

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Genetic mutation- this term indicates an alteration to base sequence in DNA of an organism which results in a mutant allele of a gene i.e. an allele that occurs in less than 1% of population.The change is heritable and can be passed on to offspring if fixed into the parental genome. Mutations can vary depending on the type of genomic alteration:




-rearrangement of bases.

To investigate the events leading to mutation we can look at mutagenesis process. There are three types:

-spontaneous (no mutation causing agent)

-induced (a foreign genome introduced the laboratory)

-directed (in vitro change to genome).

We can calculate the rate of mutation occurance using an equation from Poisson distribution:


where P0 is the probability of seeing no mutations, N is the number of cells per culture and m is the mutation rate.


Genetics, 1987, Geoffrey Zubay

Encyclopedia of Genetics,Volume 3, 2002, S.Brenner,J.H. Miller

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