Difference between SNP and Mutation

SNP (Single Nucleotide
Polymorphism) is a type of mutation. Also, all mutations cannot be considered as SNP.

Also see: Differences between nucleotide and nucleoside

SNP – Single Nucleotide Polymorphism

Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is a kind of polymorphism that includes various solitary base pairs (A-T-G-C).

A change in a DNA sequence happens when a single nucleotide (adenine, thymine, guanine, or cytosine) in the genome is rearranged. Also, that specific adjustment is available in a minimum of 1% of the population.

The effect of SNPs in causing disease is a significant field of study for researchers.


The DNA grouping is unique to every creature. This DNA grouping can sometimes undergo changes such as deletion, duplication, insertion or substitution. Also, they lead to the changes in the proteins transcripted by the DNA. This change in its base pair is termed mutation.

Moreover, mutations at the same DNA location happen rarely.

Difference between SNP and Mutation



SNP is a change in the single-nucleotide of a genome. Also, it is a type of mutation.

Mutation is the variation in DNA base pairs caused due to insertion, deletion, duplication or substitution of base pairs.

The variation is seen only in a single nucleotide.

The variation can be due to changes in many or even a single nucleotide.

The SNP variation is available in a minimum of 1% of the population.

The mutation frequency is available in less than 1% of the population.

Example – In the sequence ATAGC, the substitution of G by C will produce ATACC. This change in a single nucleotide is termed as SNP.

The mutations are of different types. The missense mutation, silent mutation and nonsense mutation are some of them.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the base pairs in a DNA sequence?

The DNA structure is composed of nitrogenous bases or nucleotides. The four base pairs in a DNA sequence are adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Also, A pairs only with T and G pairs with C.


Does SNP affect the gene function?

SNP in the genic region does have an effect on its function. In contrast, the SNP in the intergenic regions does not cause any harm. The intergenic region includes sequences of DNA that are located between the genes.


What are the causes of mutation?

The majority of the changes happen when the DNA fails to duplicate precisely. This multitude of changes leads to evolution in an organism.
The major internal cause for this mutation or change is the cell division process. The DNA makes its own copy during the cell division process. Thus, they act as an internal cause. The external cause could be radiation or chemicals that bring about a change in the DNA sequence.
Also Read: Mutagens


What are missense, nonsense and silent mutations?

Missense mutation occurs due to a change in base pairs that leads to different amino acids. Nonsense is the change in a sequence that helps release the stop codon. Thus, they do not code for any amino acid. Silent mutations refer to changes that do not affect the amino acid sequence.

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