Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Mutation Rate, Average

Rate(s) at which unrepaired mutations accumulate in the DNA of organisms. The rate in nuclear DNA is about 1 in 10,000 gametes per generation, but is 5-10 times higher in mtDNA, and about 100 times higher in the unrepaired DNA found in organisms such as viruses (vDNA, vRNA). The vDNA rate is probably that experienced by many terrestrial life forms, but many higher organisms possess enzymes that can repair mutations under certain conditions.

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