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  • [Henderson's] n. a change in the amount or chemical structure of DNA resulting in a change in the characteristics of an organ­ism or an individual cell. The changes are due to alterations in, or non-production of, proteins (or RNAs) specified by the altered DNA. Mutations occurring in body cells of multicellular organisms are called somatic mutations and are only passed on to the immediate descendants of those cells. Mutations occurring in germline cells can be inherited by the offspring. Mutations can occur spontane­ously as a result of errors in normal cell processes, e.g. DNA replication, or can be induced by certain chemicals or radia­tion. Alterations in DNA that do not cause any phenotypic change are also sometimes called mutations (silent muta­tions or neutral mutations). see also back mutation, base substitution, deletion, frameshift, insertion, neutral mutation, point mutation, translocation, transposition, transversion, revertant, silent mutation, wild type.

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  • [controlled by ] Mark Frenzel, 22 May 2013

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  • US LTER controlled vocabulary



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