Dictionary > Insertion (genetics)

Insertion (genetics)

In genetics, insertion refers to the type of mutation characterized by the insertion of one or few nucleotide base pairs to a DNA sequence or a chromosome. It may be small-scale or large-scale type. A small-scale type of insertion mutation involves the insertion of one or a few nucleotides into the DNA sequence. A large-scale type of insertion is one that involves a region of a chromosome. In this case, a nonreciprocal translocation occurs. A segment is removed from one chromosome and then inserted into a broken region of a non-homologous chromosome.
When one or more nucleotides are inserted into the genetic sequence, the reading frame is disrupted during transcription, and eventually, translation. This may result in an altered sequence of amino acids, extra amino acid in a chain, or premature termination. Hence, the newly synthesized protein could be abnormally short, abnormally long, and/or contain the wrong amino acids. It will most likely not be functional.
Insertion of a larger sequence of nucleotide base pairs into a chromosome may occur when there is an unequal crossover during meiosis.

See also


  1. Genetics Home Reference. (2019). What is a gene mutation and how do mutations occur? Retrieved from Genetics Home Reference website: https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/mutationsanddisorders/genemutation
  2. DNA and Mutations. (2019). Retrieved from Berkeley.edu website: https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/mutations-01
  3. What is a Mutation? (2019). Retrieved from Utep.edu website: http://utminers.utep.edu/rwebb/html/what_is_a_mutation_.html
  4. Mutation. (2019). Retrieved from Mit.edu website:http://web.mit.edu/saraht/Public/8.592FinalProject/Population_genetics/Mutation.html

© Biology Online. Content provided and moderated by Biology Online Editors

You will also like...

Direct and indirect physiologic effects of growth hormone
Animal Growth Hormones

Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands of animals. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus are the most impor..

Protein Synthesis

Part of the genetic information is devoted to the synthesis of proteins. mRNA, a type of RNA, is produced as a transcri..

human brain structure
The Conscious & Unconscious Nervous System

This tutorial elaborates on how the nervous system works, particularly at the tissue level of the brain. There are three..

Ecosystem Succession
Ecosystem Succession

If the balance of nature is left untouched, landscapes can change dramatically over time. A previous ecosystem is supers..

Chemical composition of the body
Chemical Composition of the Body

The body is comprised of different elements with hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen as the major four. This tutorial..

A chart depicting Mendel's Law of Dominance
Mendel’s Law & Mendelian Genetics

One of Mendel’s law of inheritance is the “law of dominance”. Read this tutorial to know more about this form of i..