Dictionary » M » Mutation



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:

  • Mutation is essential to evolution. They introduce new traits in a population,change allele frequencies and include changes in the DNA sequences.

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

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CRISPR/Cas technology

It works well in mice. About off-targets: it's hyperbole . In mice unless the off target is in LD with your desired mutation, it can be bred out in 1-2 generations and even still, the off targets are primarily in intergenic noncoding sequence space ad exist in a homozygous state. ...

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by animodel123
Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:39 am
Forum: Genetics
Topic: CRISPR/Cas technology
Replies: 1
Views: 165


See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydactyly so 1) likely a mutation (or one of your parent was having a 6th finger and had it removed and for some reason chose not to tell or ignore it) 2) 50% chance of them having it 3) It would be stupid to do it ...

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by BrentElmer
Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:11 am
Forum: Genetics
Topic: 6 fingers
Replies: 5
Views: 5883

Mutuation saturation at a particular locus

Hi guys, newbie here, but no less enthusiastic! Quick question in regards to mutation saturation at a locus... What is it in the context of comparing two lineages? I know that it occurs most in hyper-variable regions like in mitDNA, but what effect does this have ...

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by SimonNSmith
Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:43 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Mutuation saturation at a particular locus
Replies: 0
Views: 460

Evolutionary psychology

... I see that it is a possibility that such useless or harmful instincts prevail for some time, but it is also likely that such instincts may undergo mutation ( mutation in its broader sense) and selection to establish useful replacements. Longer the time since becoming not of use, more the chance ...

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by Hrushikesh
Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:58 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Evolutionary psychology
Replies: 2
Views: 1912

translation from DNA

Even if that system would be more successful, could we have transitioned to it through gradual mutation and selection, or were we stuck with what we got?

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by wildfunguy
Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:23 pm
Forum: Molecular Biology
Topic: translation from DNA
Replies: 5
Views: 5253
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