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Thread: mutation rates

  1. #1 mutation rates 
    Forum Sophomore Dkav's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Which has a higher mutation rate prokaryotes or eukaryotes? I thought prokaryotes and got it wrong on the exam. Why is it eukaryotes when prokaryotes divide much faster and have fewer mechanisms of repair.?

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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
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    Mar 2011
    Binary fission is a relatively more simple process and it works well for prokaryotes as they only have one circular chromosome. On the other hand mitosis, as it deals with several chromosomes, is more complex and is more prone to error (eg nondisjunction).

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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    New Zealand
    Actually, strictly speaking, mutation rate is roughly the same. This is measured as mutations per thousand genes per generation. Eukaryotes have more genes, so more mutations per generation in total. However, more to the point, eukaryotes have more genetic changes due to sexual reproduction and genetic reassortment. This is not, of course, the same as mutations.

    My own view is that the mutation rate should be measured as a percentage of total gene number, making prokaryotes and eukaryotes the same as far as anyone can tell. But the rule in exams is always : " Do not give the right answer. Give the answer the examiner wants."
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