Mutations in the genes can be induced or could arise spontaneously. Induced mutations are generated when an entity is exposed to a mutagen or an agent causing mutations. These mutations usually tend to have higher frequencies than spontaneous mutations. Spontaneous mutations are the naturally occurring mutations which appear in all cells. Comprehension of the gene mutation mechanism requires DNA analysis and also the analysis of protein molecules.
A careful study of DNA models, protein structures can lead to a better understanding of the nature of mutations and the causative for alterations of these structures. Sequences of large segments of DNA can be determined using molecular genetic techniques. Changes in this sequence cause mutations. The concept of sequencing has made it much easier to understand the track that drives to mutagenesis. It has also aided to interpret the mutational hot spots which are the genetic sites with an inclination towards mutating.
Research has been carried out on single-celled bacteria and their viruses to examine the molecular basis of mutation. Inherited diseases caused by mutations in humans are also explored to understand the concept better. Another related mechanism which plays a key role in mutagenesis is the biological repair mechanism which operates to reduce the ultimately observed mutation rates. For instance, in the E-Coli, with all its repair systems operating well, the base substitutions take place at rates of to per base pair per cell per generation.
The base substitutions occur through a disturbance of the normal pairing of corresponding bases as part of the basic principle. For more information on mutation and related topics, please register at BYJU’S.