A sudden Inheritable change in the Genetic material of an Organism is called

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

A sudden inheritable change in the genetic material of an organism is called a mutation. It occurs in the DNA sequence of an organism during cell division. However, the mutation rate is very low. It can be physical, chemical and biological. Most mutations are harmful and are usually not preserved across generations. Only a few mutations can be beneficial, and they have been passed down from genes. Mutagens are the agents that cause mutation.

Sudden Inheritable Change in an Organism

Sudden inheritable changes are the mutations that play an effective role in the evolution process. It helps to add new traits, characters or species thereby, maintaining biodiversity. A mutation is of two types, somatic mutation, and germline mutation.

Mutations are one of the root causes of genetic variation in the population. The concept of mutation was first explained by Hugo de Vries. Thus, mutation refers to the changes in the heritable characters. Here are a few types of mutation that occur in the genome of an organism.

  • Somatic mutations – These occur in the somatic cells, i.e. the cells that are not involved in the reproduction process such as skin cells. Thus, it cannot be transferred to any other generation.
  • Germline mutation – It refers to the mutation that occurs in the germ cells or reproductive cells. It occurs due to recombination and linkage in the genes.


A sudden Inheritable change in the Genetic material of an Organism is called

A mutation is a sudden inheritable change in the genome of an organism. Mutations are caused by environmental factors known as mutagens. The types of mutagens include chemicals, radiation, and infectious radiation agents. Mutations are useful in the process of evolution.

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