Genetic Mutation Notes

Mutation: Any change or random error in a DNA sequence - Mutations can exist in reproductive cells and can therefore be passed on to offspring - Mutations can also occur in body cells, and while its not passed on to the offspring, can impair the functioning of the cell and can cause problems for the individual (example: cancer) Types of mutations: 1. Point Mutation: a change in a single base pair in DNA - A change in a single nitrogen base can change the entire structure of a protein because a change in a single amino acid can affect the shape of the protein. - Less harmful to organisms than frameshift mutations because they disrupt only a single codon. 2. Frameshift Mutation: a type of mutation in which a single base is added or deleted from DNA - This new sequence would then be transcribed into mRNA. But the mRNA would be out of position by one base. As a result, every codon after the deleted base would be different. This mutation would cause nearly every amino acid in the protein after the deletion or addition to be changed. Chromosomal Mutations Deletion: part of the chromosome is left out Duplication: segment of a chromosome is repeated Inversion: chromosome becomes orientated in the reverse of its usual direction Translocation: part of the chromosome breaks off and attaches to another - Few chromosome mutations are passed on to the next generation because the zygote usually dies. In cases where the zygote survives, it is often sterile and thus incapable of producing offspring. Causes of Mutations - Any agent that can cause a change in DNA is called a mutagen. Mutagens include high energy radiation, chemicals, and even high temperatures.

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