MutationA mutation is a permanent alteration in the sequence of nitrogenous bases of a DNA molecule. The result of a mutation is generally a change in the end-product specified by that gene. In some cases, a mutation can be beneficial if a new metabolic activity arises in a microorganism, or it can be detrimental if a metabolic activity is lost. Types of mutations. The most common type of mutation involves a single base pair in the DNA molecule and is known as a point mutation. In this case, a different base is substituted for the normal base, thus altering the genetic code. Should a new amino acid be substituted in the final protein, the mutation is known as missense mutation. Certain mutations change the genetic code and destroy the information it contains. Such a mutation is referred to as a nonsense mutation.
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