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Mutations PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Mutations. Lesson Objectives. Identify causes of mutation. Compare and contrast types of mutations. Explain how mutations may affect the organisms in which they occur. . What Are Mutations?.

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Lesson objectives

Lesson Objectives

  • Identify causes of mutation.

  • Compare and contrast types of mutations.

  • Explain how mutations may affect the organisms in which they occur.

What are mutations

What Are Mutations?

  • Spontaneous changes in the nucleotide sequence of DNA or RNA (during Replication and Transcription)

  • May occur in somatic cells and gametes

  • Which one can be passed on to offspring?


  • Germline mutationsoccur in gametes. These mutations are especially significant because they can be transmitted to offspring and every cell in the offspring will have the mutation.

  • Somatic mutationsoccur in other cells of the body. These mutations may have little effect on the organism because they are confined to just one cell and its daughter cells. Somatic mutations cannot be passed on to offspring.

Muations are important

Muations are Important

  • Mutations are essential for evolution to occur. They are the ultimate source of all new genetic material in a species.

Are mutations helpful or harmful

Are Mutations Helpful or Harmful?

  • Mutations happen regularly

  • Almost all mutations are neutral

  • Some mutations are beneficial. Even harmful mutations rarely cause drastic changes in organisms.

  • Mutagens environmental factors that cause mutations. Ex. Radiation, uv rays, chemicals, viruses, bacteria, etc.

  • Many mutations are repaired by what enzyme?

    (think DNA Replication)

Mutations in a Hudson River fish species allow it to resist pollution.

Are mutations helpful or harmful1

Are Mutations Helpful or Harmful?

  • Harmful mutations may cause genetic disorders or cancer.

    • A genetic disorderis a disease caused by a mutation in one or a few genes.

      • A human example is cystic fibrosis. A mutation in a single gene causes the body to produce thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and blocks ducts in digestive organs.

    • Some type of skin cancers and leukemia result from somatic mutations

Are mutations helpful or harmful2

Are Mutations Helpful or Harmful?

  • Some mutations may improve an organism’s survival (beneficial)

    • Ex. Running faster to out run a predator

    • Mutations lead to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

    • A unique mutation is found in people in a small town in Italy. The mutation protects them from developing atherosclerosis, which is the dangerous buildup of fatty materials in blood vessels. The individual in which the mutation first appeared has even been identified.

Types of mutations

Types of Mutations

Chromosome mutations

Chromosome Mutations

  • May Involve:

    • Changing the structureof a chromosome

    • The loss or gainof part of a chromosome

Chromosome mutations1

Chromosome Mutations

  • Five types exist:

    • Deletion

    • Inversion

    • Translocation

    • Nondisjunction

    • Duplication



  • Due to breakage

  • A piece of a chromosome is lost



  • Chromosome segment breaks off

  • Segment flips around backwards

  • Segment reattaches



  • Occurs when a gene sequence is repeated



  • Involves two chromosomes that aren’t homologous

  • Part of one chromosome is transferred to another chromosomes





  • Failure of chromosomes to separate during meiosis

  • Causes gamete to have too many or too few chromosomes

Chromosome mutation animation

Chromosome Mutation Animation

Gene mutations

Gene Mutations

  • Change in the nucleotide sequence of a gene

  • May only involve a single nucleotide

  • May be due to copying errors, chemicals, viruses, etc.

Types of gene mutations

Types of Gene Mutations

  • Include:

    • Point Mutations

    • Substitutions

    • Insertions

    • Deletions

    • Frameshift

Point mutation

Point Mutation

  • Change of a single nucleotide

  • Includes the deletion, insertion, or substitution of ONE nucleotide in a gene

Point mutations and their effects

Point Mutations and Their Effects

Point mutation1

Point Mutation

  • Sickle Cell disease is the result of one nucleotide substitution

  • Occurs in the hemoglobin gene

Frameshift mutation

Frameshift Mutation

  • Inserting or deleting one or more nucleotides

  • Changes the “reading frame” like changing a sentence

  • Proteins built incorrectly

Frameshift mutation1

Frameshift Mutation

  • Original:

    • The fat cat ate the wee rat.

  • Frame Shift (“a” added):

    • The fat caa tat eth ewe era t.

Amino acid sequence changed

Amino Acid Sequence Changed

Gene mutation animation

Gene Mutation Animation

Lesson summary

Lesson Summary

  • Mutations are spontaneous and can be caused by environmental factors known as mutagens. Types of mutagens include radiation, chemicals, and infectious agents.

  • Germline mutations occur in gametes. Somatic mutations occur in other body cells. Chromosomal alterations are mutations that change chromosome structure. Point mutations change a single nucleotide. Frameshift mutations are additions or deletions of nucleotides that cause a shift in the reading frame.

  • Mutations are essential for evolution to occur because they increase genetic variation and the potential for individuals to differ. The majority of mutations are neutral in their effects on the organisms in which they occur. Beneficial mutations may become more common through natural selection. Harmful mutations may cause genetic disorders or cancer.

Lesson review questions

Lesson Review Questions


  • 1. Define mutation and mutagen.

  • 2. List three examples of mutagens.

  • 3. Identify three types of chromosomal alterations.

  • 4. Distinguish among silent, missense, and nonsense point mutations.

  • 5. What is a frameshift mutation? What causes this type of mutation?


Apply Concepts

  • 6. Assume that a point mutation changes the codon AUU to AUC. Why is this a neutral mutation?

  • 7. Look at the mutation shown below. The base A was inserted following the start codon AUG. Describe how this mutation affects the encoded amino acid sequence.



Think Critically

  • 8. Compare and contrast germline mutations and somatic mutations.

  • 9. Why are mutations essential for evolution to occur?


Points to Consider

  • Sometimes even drastic mutations do not affect the proteins produced by a particular type of cell. The reason? The genes affected by the mutations are not normally used to make proteins in that type of cell. In all cells, some genes are turned off - they are not transcribed - while other genes are turned on.

  • How do cells control which genes are turned on and used to make proteins?

  • Can you think of a mechanism that might prevent transcription of a gene?

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