What is mutation?

1 Answer
Nov 27, 2017

Mutation generally means "change".
In biology, mutation refers to the spontaneous change in DNA gene which consequently alters the genetic message carried by that gene.


Sickle cell anemia is caused by the displacement of only one amino acid in second #beta#-chain of hemoglobin(oxygen carrying protein). In this case, amino acid, glutamic acid changes into valine at position 6 from N terminal end in hemoglobin #beta#-chain. Thus, it alters the tertiary structure of hemoglobin molecule diminishing its ability to carry oxygen.

Some points to be remembered:

  • Mutations in the somatic cells do not pass to offsprings. So they are not of evolutionary importance.
  • Mutations in the germ cell pass to new generation. So, they provide raw material for natural selection.

Hope it helps...