Revision as of 23:19, 14 December 2009 by Honee_v (Talk | contribs) (updated)


noun, plural: mutations


A change in or the process of changing, e.g. nature, form or quality.


(1) A permanent, heritable change in the nucleotide sequence in a gene or a chromosome; the process in which such a change occurs in a gene or in a chromosome.

(2) A mutant, or an individual exhibiting such a change.


In genetics, mutation may be small scale (affecting the nucleotide sequence of a gene) or large scale (involving a change in the chromosome). It may arise from faulty deletions, insertions, or exchanges of nucleotides in the genetic material, as caused by exposure to ultraviolet or ionizing radiation, chemical mutagens, viruses, etc. Such a change may result in the creation of a new character or trait.

Word origin: Mutatio from mutare = to change (biology) an organism that has characteristics resulting from chromosomal alteration.

Related forms: mutant (noun), mutate (verb).
Related terms: addition mutation, conditional mutation, deletion mutation, forward mutation, frameshift mutation, homeotic mutation, lethal mutation, missense mutation, mutation frequency, mutation rate, point mutation, substitution mutation.

User Contributions / Comments:

(~Dlee7283) Mutations introduce new traits in a population,change allele frequencies and include changes in the DNA sequences.

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