nucleotide mutation rate

Bert Gold bgold at itsa.ucsf.edu
Sat Nov 11 17:36:22 EST 1995

Although you are right that the original fluctuation test results
of Luria and Delbruck showed a mutation rate of 1 in 3 x 10 -8
mutations per cell division in E. coli, this is not the case
for eukaryotes (for a quick review of Luria and Delbruck, see
Stent, GS; Molecular Genetics an Introductory Narrative, WH Freeman &
Co., 1978, pp 160-164).

The best guess there, with about 3 times 10 to the 9th base pairs of
DNA operative is that a single gene (containing about 10 to the 3rd base 
pairs of coding sequence) would suffer a mutation once in every 
million cell generations. (See Alberts, Bray, Lewis, Raff et al., 
Molecular Biology of the Cell, Garland, 1994, at page 243).

Bert Gold, Ph.D.
San Francisco

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