Distinguish between somatic mutations and germ-line mutations

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Distinguish between somatic mutations and germ-line mutations and their effect on an organism (ACSBL082, ACSBL083)

Differences between Somatic Mutations and Germ-line Mutations and their effect on an organism:

Somatic Mutations Germ-line Mutations
1. Occur in a single body cell and cannot be inherited 1. Occur in gametes and can be passed onto offspring
2. Only tissues derived from mutated cells are affected 2. Every cell in the entire organism will be affected
3. Gametes do not contain mutants 3. Half of the gametes are mutated
4. Shows effects in cells where they occur 4. Are normally ‘silent’ and do not show any effects
5. Occurs during mitosis cell division 5. Occurs during meiosis cell division
6. Coat's disease is a disorder that causes an uncontrolled blood vessel formation in the retina of the eyes, which can lead to blindness. It is caused by mutation of the NDP gene which controls blood vessel development. This mutation occurs in a single cell of the eye, and is not hereditary. 6. Haemophilia in European royal families is the most popular example of such mutations. This disease causes the failure of blood to clot, which can even cause a person to bleed to death due to an injury. It is said that the disease was passed down by the germ cells of Queen Victoria, or her parents, to succeeding generations. Only male members of the family were affected by the disease.

Extract from HSC Biology Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2017 Board of Studies NSW.