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Seed Biotechnology Center at UC Davis
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Induced Mutation

A mutation is any change in DNA sequence that can be passed from parent to offspring. Mutations occur naturally at a low rate in all living organisms.

In fact, mutation is one of the sources of genetic diversity.

By inducing mutations, scientists have been able to increase genetic variation in crop species.

Breeders depend on genetic variation to produce varieties with desirable traits, such as resistance to diseases and insects.

Unlike recombinant DNA methods, induced mutation does not add any genetic material into the species, although it can remove it by making deletions of DNA.

To induce mutations, chemicals or irradiation interact with internal enzymes that replicate or repair DNA in living organisms. 

Essentially, induced  mutation produces results that could have occurred naturally over much longer times than it takes to induce such results.

Since the 1940s, over 2,200 crop varieties have been developed by inducing mutations to alter genetic traits and then selecting among the progeny for improved types. For example, semi-dwarf rice, low saturated fat sunflower seeds, redder grapefruit and many flowers are derived from induced mutations.

 

information presented by SeedQuest and The Seed Biotechnology Center at UC Davis

 


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