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Genetic mutation     [ Genetics ]
Synonym: Variation.

Dictionary of botanic terminology
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  A genetic mutation is a permanent, alteration in genetic material (DNA) of a cell caused by a change within the genes or chromosomes by copying errors of the genetic material during cell division or by exposure to radiation, chemicals, or viruses, this may be accidental or spontaneous, or intentionally induced.  
A mutation may cause a plant to have new character or quality different from that of the parental type (e.g. new colour of the flower, or a different shape, dimension etc..), when such changes occur in the germ cells, they are able to be passed on to the offspring as inherited traits.

See also:  Mutant, Chimera, Somaclonal mutation






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