The Spontaneous Mutation Rate

  • Susumu Ohno


Inasmuch as heritable changes are primarily caused by mutations affecting individual cistrons within the genome, the accurate estimation of the spontaneous mutation rate is of the utmost importance in understanding evolution. Furthermore, in view of the fact that a mutation randomly affects a single base pair of any cistron and that only some of the mutations are permitted by natural selection to accompany the process of speciation, we should also have some idea about relative proportions with regard to forbidden versus tolerable mutations. In practice, it is convenient to consider the spontaneous mutation rate either in terms of per locus per generation or per base pair per generation.


Mutation Rate Polypeptide Chain Intragenic Recombination Tolerable Mutation Spontaneous Mutation Rate 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susumu Ohno
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyCity of Hope Medical CenterDuarteUSA

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