Gene Expression – DNA to Protein - 20 Reviewing the Effects of Mutations The rate of mutation is highly variable, and depends in part of the ability of repair enzymes such as DNA polymerase and DNA ligase to fix mistakes. Some genes mutate at much greater rates than others. The effect of a mutation is also highly variable. A mutation that does not harm the cell will be perpetuated in the cell line. Mutations that occur in gametes will be passed on to subsequent generations. A mutation in a somatic cell impacts only individual in which is occurs. While many times we stress that an alteration of the DNA produces harmful effects in the individual, it is by the act of mutation and gene alterations that many good variations also arise and can be passed on within populations. Without such variation, populations would not be able to respond to changing environments. Without such changes in the DNA over the millions of years of life on earth, we probably would not have the remarkable array of proteins, and hence, the
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This note was uploaded on 12/29/2011 for the course BIO 151 taught by Professor Edwards during the Spring '10 term at SUNY Stony Brook.