Definitions for: Mutation


[n] a change or alteration in form or qualities
[n] (genetics) any event that changes genetic structure; any alteration in the inherited nucleic acid sequence of the genotype of an organism
[n] (biology) an organism that has characteristics resulting from chromosomal alteration



Webster (1913) Definition: Mu*ta"tion, n. [L. mutatio, fr. mutare to change: cf.
F. mutation. See Mutable.]
Change; alteration, either in form or qualities.

The vicissitude or mutations in the superior globe are
no fit matter for this present argument. --Bacon.


Mu*ta"tion, n.
1. (Biol.) Gradual definitely tending variation, such as may
be observed in a group of organisms in the fossils of
successive geological levels.

2. (Biol.)
(a) As now employed (first by de Vries), a sudden
variation (the offspring differing from its parents in
some well-marked character or characters) as
distinguished from a gradual variations in which the
new characters become fully developed only in the
course of many generations. The occurrence of
mutations, and the hereditary transmission, under some
conditions, of the characters so appearing, are
well-established facts; whether the process has played
an important part in the evolution of the existing
species and other groups of organisms is a disputed
question.
(b) The result of the above process; a suddenly produced
variation.

Synonyms: chromosomal mutation, genetic mutation, mutant, sport, variation

See Also: alteration, being, change, freak, gene mutation, inversion, lusus naturae, modification, monster, monstrosity, mutagenesis, organism, point mutation, reversion, saltation, transposition

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