ID #2018

Insertion mutations result in a null phenotype and most are caused by Transposons. What are transposons are. What is their actual role with regards to mutations?

They are mobile genetic elements, which is a fancy way of saying pieces of DNA that can be moved from one spot in the genome to another via very specific enzymes that cut them out of one place and splice them into another place. The mechanism isn't important for this class, but understanding the consequence of this occurrence is. If you patch a new segment of DNA into a gene, you're almost certainly going to disrupt the function of that gene's protein, resulting in the null phenotype for that protein.

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