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IB3.9.

4 Mutations

Mutations

© Oxford University Press 2011

9.4 Mutations How is variation produced? © Oxford University Press 2011 .IB3.

• The resistant rats breed. But there is a big unanswered question: • How do some rats become resistant to warfarin in the first place? © Oxford University Press 2011 . • They pass on their features to the next generation. • The number of resistant rats increases with each generation. • The resistant rats survive the poison.9.4 Mutations Natural selection in rats: warfarin These statements describe how the number of warfarin resistant rats may increase in a population.IB3. • Warfarin kills most rats. • But a few are resistant to the poison. • People use warfarin to kill rats.

IB3. Tell me about mutations.9. Very rarely mutations may be helpful to an organism. What sort of mutations can be helpful? Next © Oxford University Press 2011 . Remind me about DNA. some are harmful. • DNA controls the proteins that a cell makes.4 Mutations How do some rats become resistant to warfarin? Click on the links to find out more. Sometimes a mistake is made – this is called a mutation. • DNA is copied when a new cell is made. • Most mutations are harmless.

• Chromosomes are made of DNA.IB3. • A gene is the instruction for how to make one type of protein. DNA chromosome genes Part of the DNA molecule Back © Oxford University Press 2011 . • They have a double helix shape.9.4 Mutations DNA • DNA molecules are very long. • Genes are sections of chromosomes.

9.4 Mutations Mutations • • • • • Each gene is the instruction for making one protein. They can also be caused by some chemicals. The gene may code for a different protein. Mutations do happen naturally. Back © Oxford University Press 2011 .IB3. Sometimes a mistake is made when the gene’s DNA is copied. and ionizing radiation.

some bacteria have mutations that make them resistant to certain antibiotics. Sickle-cell anaemia is a serious blood disease. For example. People with two copies of the disease allele can be very ill.4 Mutations How can mutations be helpful? • • • • • Most mutations do not help the organism. The different protein that is made cannot do its job well. But mutations are random – a very small number may help the organism survive in some environments.9. © Oxford University Press 2011 .IB3. But people who carry just one copy of the allele have protection from malaria. Back This bacterium is resistant to most antibiotics. This helps them to survive in countries where malaria is common. A person who is a carrier of the sickle cell allele is protected from malaria.

Mutations are a change in the genetic code. The number of resistant rats increases with each generation. Print this page for your notes. People use warfarin to kill the rats. The resistant rats have a better chance of surviving and reproducing. Warfarin kills most rats.4 Mutations Natural selection in rats: warfarin Now put these statements in the correct order.9. The mutated gene is passed on and is common in the rat population. © Oxford University Press 2011 . A mutation in a rat’s sex cells make its offspring resistant to warfarin. Mutations may happen when DNA is copied in the cell.IB3. Mutations can be caused by some chemicals or ionizing radiation. The resistant rats breed and pass their features on.