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Biology LibreTexts

Unit 10: Mutation

  • 10.1: Mutations - Causes and Significance
    In the living cell, DNA undergoes frequent chemical change, especially when it is being replicated (in S phase of the eukaryotic cell cycle). Most of these changes are quickly repaired. Those that are not result in a mutation. Thus, mutation is a failure of DNA repair.
  • 10.2: Testing for Mutagenic Chemicals in Bacteria and Mice
    Ames test  is a test for determining if a chemical is a mutagen. It is named for its developer, Bruce Ames.
  • 10.3: Radiation and its effect on DNA
    For biologists, the most significant forms of radiation are light, heat, and ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation can penetrate cells and create ions in the cell contents. These, in turn, can cause permanent alterations in DNA (i.e., mutations). Ionizing radiation includes X rays, gamma rays, neutrons, electrons ("beta" particles), and alpha particles (helium nuclei).
  • 10.4: Transposons - "jumping genes"
    Transposons are segments of DNA that can move around to different positions in the genome of a single cell. In the process, they may cause mutations and increase (or decrease) the amount of DNA in the genome of the cell, and if the cell is the precursor of a gamete, in the genomes of any descendants. These mobile segments of DNA are sometimes called "jumping genes" and there are two distinct types.