Can you answer the two attachments quizzes?
? 2009 Garland Science Publishing

Generating Genetic Variation

Which of the following statements is false?
A mutation that arises in a mother’s somatic cell often causes a disease in
her daughter.
All mutations in an asexually reproducing single-celled organism are
passed on to progeny.
In an evolutionary sense, somatic cells exist only to help propagate germline cells.
A mutation is passed on to offspring only if it is present in the germ line.


Your friend works in a lab that is studying why a particular mutant strain of
Drosophila grows an eye on its wing. Your friend discovers that this mutant strain
of Drosophila is expressing a transcription factor incorrectly. In the mutant
Drosophila, this transcription factor, which is normally expressed in the
primordial eye tissue, is now misexpressed in the wing primordial wing tissue,
thus turning on transcription of the set of genes required to produce an eye in the
wing primordial tissue. If this hypothesis is true, which of the following types of
genetic change would most likely lead to this situation?
a mutation within the transcription factor gene that leads to a premature
stop codon after the third amino acid
a mutation within the transcription factor gene that leads to a substitution
of a positively charged amino acid for a negatively charged amino acid
a mutation within an upstream enhancer of the gene
a mutation in the TATA box of the gene


Match the type of phenotypic change below with the type of genetic change most
likely to cause it. Each type of genetic change may be used more than once, or
may not be used at all.
Phenotypic changes:
A protein normally localized in the nucleus is now localized in the
cytoplasm. _________
A protein acquires a DNA binding domain. _________
Tandem copies of a gene are found in the genome. _________
A copy of a bacterial gene is now found integrated on a human
chromosome. _________
A protein becomes much more unstable. _________


A protein normally expressed only in the liver is now expressed in blood
cells. _________

Types of genetic change:
mutation within a gene
gene duplication
mutation in a regulatory region
exon shuffling
horizontal gene transfer

For each of the following sentences, fill in the blanks with the best word or phrase
in the list below. Not all words or phrases will be used; use each word or phrase
only once.
Sexual reproduction in a multicellular organism involves
specialized reproductive cells, called __________________s,
which come together to form a __________________ that will
divide to produce both reproductive and __________________
cells. A point mutation in the DNA is considered a
__________________ mutation if it changes a nucleotide that
leads to no phenotypic consequence; a point mutation is considered
__________________ if it changes a nucleotide within a gene and
causes the protein to be non-functional.



Transposable elements litter the genomes of primates, and a few of them are still
capable of moving to new regions of the genome. If a transposable element
jumped into an important gene in one of your cells when you were a baby and
caused a disease, is it likely that your child would also have the disease? Explain.


What is the most likely explanation of why the overall mutation rates in bacteria
and in humans are roughly similar?
Cell division needs to be fast.
Most mutations are silent.
There is a narrow range of mutation rates that offers an optimal balance
between keeping the genome stable and generating sufficient diversity in a
It benefits a multicellular organism to have some variability among its


For each statement below, indicate whether it is true or false and explain why.


To meet a challenge or develop a new function, evolution essentially
builds from first principles, designing from scratch, to find the best
possible solution.
Nearly every instance of DNA duplication leads to a new functional gene.
A pseudogene is very similar to a functional gene but cannot be expressed
because of mutations.
Most genes in vertebrates are unique, and only a few genes are members
of multigene families.
Horizontal transfer is very rare and thus has had little influence on the
genomes of bacteria.

Two individuals are represented in each choice in Figure Q9-8; individual 1 is one
of the parents of individual 2. The asterisk seen in each choice indicates the
occurrence of a single mutation during the cell division. Which of the choices in
Figure Q9-8 will lead to a mutation in every cell of the individual in which the
original mutation occurred?

Figure Q9-8

Two individuals are represented in Figure Q9-9; individual 1 is one of the parents
of individual 2. The asterisk indicates the occurrence of a single mutation.

Figure Q9-9
What is the chance that individual 2 will inherit the mutation in individual 1?
1 in 100,000

Consider a gene with a particular function. Mutation X and mutation Y each cause
defects in the function of the encoded protein, yet a gene containing both
mutations X and Y encodes a protein that works even better than the original
protein. The odds are exceedingly small that a single mutational event will
generate both mutations X and Y. Explain a simple way that an organism with a
mutant gene containing both mutations X and Y could arise during evolution.


For each of the following sentences, fill in the blanks with the best word or phrase
in the list below. Not all words or phrases will be used; use each word or phrase
only once.
Most variation between individual humans is in the form of
__________________. __________________ may arise by
recombination within introns and can create proteins with novel
combinations of domains. Scientists and government regulators
must be very careful when introducing herbicide-resistant
transgenic corn plants into the environment, because if resistant
weeds arise from __________________ then the herbicides could
become useless. Families of related genes can arise from a single
ancestral copy by __________________ and subsequent
exon shuffling
gene duplication
horizontal gene transfer


purifying selection
single-nucleotide polymorphisms
unequal crossing-over

Figure Q9-12 shows an experiment used to determine the spontaneous mutation
rate in E. coli. If the spontaneous mutation rate in E. coli is 1 mistake in every 109

nucleotides copied, about how many colonies would you expect to see on the
plates lacking histidine if you were to assay 1011 cells from the culture for their
ability to form colonies?

Figure Q9-12


The spontaneous mutation rate in E. coli was determined by performing assays to
test for the frequency of an AT to GC change. These assays were performed using
E. coli that started out unable to produce histidine (His–) because of an inserted
UGA stop codon that disrupted the region coding for an enzyme required to
produce histidine. When a spontaneous mutation arose that enabled the UGA stop
codon to code for tryptophan, the E. coli cells were then able to produce the
enzyme required for histidine production. Would you expect a change in the
spontaneous mutation rate of 1 mistake every 109 nucleotides copied if reversion
of the stop codon to cysteine (instead of tryptophan) could cause the bacteria to
produce histidine? Explain. (The codon table is shown in Figure Q9-13 to help
you answer this question.)

Figure Q9-13


Which of the following changes is least likely to arise from a point mutation in a
regulatory region of a gene?
a mutation that changes the time in an organism’s life during which a
protein is expressed
a mutation that eliminates the production of a protein in a specific cell
a mutation that changes the subcellular localization of a protein
a mutation that increases the level of protein production in a cell


Which of the following statements about gene families is false?
Because gene duplication can occur when crossover events occur, genes
are always duplicated onto homologous chromosomes.
Not all duplicated genes will become functional members of gene
Whole genome duplication can contribute to the formation of gene
Duplicated genes can diverge in both their regulatory regions and their
coding regions.


Figure Q9-16 shows the evolutionary history of the globin gene family members.

Figure Q9-16
Given this information, which of
the following
statements is true?
The ancestral globin gene
arose 500
million years ago.
The ?-globin gene is more closely related to the ?-globin gene than to the
?-globin gene.
The nucleotide sequences of the two ?-globins will be most similar
because they are the closest together on the chromosome.
The fetal ?-globins arose from a gene duplication that occurred 200
million years ago, which gave rise to a ?-globin expressed in the fetus and
a ?-globin expressed in the adult.

Panels (A) and (B) of Figure Q9-17 show substrates of exon shuffling and the
outcome of exon shuffling after recombination. Horizontal lines and small filled
circles represent chromosomes and centromeres, respectively. Exons are labeled

A, B, C, and D. Homologous recombination or shuffling may take place at short,
repeated homologous DNA sequences in introns; because DNA sequences have a
polarity, the repeated sequences can be considered to have a head and a tail and
thus are drawn as arrows. A large X represents a recombinational crossover. Panel
(A) shows that recombination between two direct repeats located on opposite
sides of the centromere yields one circular product that contains a centromere and
a second product that lacks a centromere and will therefore be lost when the cell
divides. Panel (B) shows that recombination between inverted repeats flanking the
centromere will keep the rearranged chromosome intact. Draw the products of
recombination when the repeated sequences are located on different
chromosomes, as shown in panels (C) and (D). Will these products be faithfully
transmitted during cell division?

Figure Q9-17

Which of the following would contribute most to successful exon shuffling?
shorter introns
a haploid genome
exons that code for more than one protein domain
introns that contain regions of similarity to one another

Reconstructing Life’s Family Tree

Which of the following statements is true?
The intron structure of most genes is conserved among vertebrates.
The more nucleotides there are in an organism’s genome, the more genes
there will be in its genome.


Because the fly Drosophila melanogaster and humans diverged from a
common ancestor so long ago, a gene in the fly will show more similarity
to another gene from the same species than it will to a human gene.
An organism from the same Order will be more likely to have genomes of
the same size than will a more evolutionarily diverged animal.

Given the evolutionary relationship between higher primates shown in Figure Q920, which of the following statements is false?

Figure Q9-20

The last common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and
orangutans lived about 14 million years ago.
Chimpanzees are more closely related to gorillas than to humans.
Humans and chimpanzees diverged about 6 million years ago.
Orangutans are the most divergent of the four species shown in Fig. Q920.


In humans and in chimpanzees, 99% of the Alu retrotransposons are in
corresponding positions. Which of the following statements below is the most
likely explanation for this similarity?
The Alu retrotransposon is not capable of transposition in humans.
Most of the Alu sequences in the chimpanzee genome underwent
duplication and divergence before humans and chimpanzees diverged.
The Alu retrotransposons are in the most beneficial position in the genome
for primates.
The Alu retrotransposons must also be in the same position in flies.


You are interested in finding out how the budding yeast Saccharomyces
cerevisiae is so good at making bread and have collected five new related species
from the wild. You sequence the genomes of all of these new species and also
consult with a fungal biologist to help you construct the phylogenetic tree shown
in Figure Q9-22. You find that species V, W, and X make pretty good bread
whereas species Y and Z do not, suggesting that the last common ancestor of
species X and S. cerevisiae may have the genes necessary for making good bread.

You compare the gene sequences of species X and S. cerevisiae and find many
identical coding sequences, but you also identify nucleotides that differ between
the two species. Which species would be the best to examine to determine what
the sequence was in the last common ancestor of species X and S. cerevisiae?

Figure Q9-22

species V
species W
species Y
species Z


Which of the following statements is false?
The human genome is more similar to the orangutan genome than it is to
the mouse genome.
A comparison of genomes shows that 90% of the human genome shares
regions of conserved synteny with the mouse genome.
Primates, dogs, mice, and chickens all have about the same number of
Genes that code for ribosomal RNA share significant similarity in all
eucaryotes but are much more difficult to recognize in archaea.


The puffer fish, Fugu rubripes, has a genome that is one-tenth the size of
mammalian genomes. Which of the following statements is not a possible reason
for this size difference?
Intron sequences in Fugu are shorter than those in mammals.
Fugu lacks the repetitive DNA found in mammals.
The Fugu genome seems to have lost sequences faster than it has gained
sequences over evolutionary time.
Fugu has lost many genes that are part of gene families.


Which of the following regions of the genome is the least likely to be conserved
over evolutionary time?
the upstream regulatory region of a gene that encodes the region
conferring tissue specificity
the upstream regulatory region of a gene that binds to RNA polymerase
the portion of the genome that codes for proteins
the portion of the genome that codes for RNAs that are not translated into


The evolutionary relationships between seven different species, G, H, J, K, L, M,
and N are diagrammed in Figure Q9-26.

Figure Q9-26
Given this information, which of the following statements is false?
These are all highly related species, because the sequence divergence
between the most divergent species is 3%.
Species M is just as related to species G as it is to species J.
Species N is more closely related to the last common ancestor of all of
these species than to any of the other species shown in the diagram.
Species G and H are as closely related to each other as species J and K are
to each other.

You are working in a human genetics laboratory that studies causes and
treatments for eye cataracts in newborns. This disease is thought to be
caused by a deficiency in the enzyme galactokinase, but the human gene
that encodes this enzyme has not yet been identified. At a talk by a visiting
scientist, you learn about a strain of baker’s yeast that contains a mutation
called gal1– in its galactokinase gene. Because this gene is needed to
metabolize galactose, the mutant strain cannot grow in galactose medium.
Knowing that all living things evolved from a common ancestor and that
distantly related organisms often have homologous genes that perform
similar functions, you wonder whether the human galactokinase gene can
function in yeast. Because you have an optimistic temperament, you
decide to pursue this line of experimentation. You isolate mRNA gene

transcripts from human cells, use reverse transcriptase to make
complementary DNA (cDNA) copies of the mRNA molecules, and ligate
the cDNAs into circular plasmid DNA molecules that can be stably
propagated in yeast cells. You then transform the pool of plasmids into
gal1– yeast cells so that each cell receives a single plasmid. What will
happen when you spread the plasmid-containing cells on Petri dishes that
contain galactose as a carbon source? How can this approach help you find
the human gene encoding galactokinase?


When a mutation arises, it can have three possible consequences:
beneficial to the individual, selectively neutral, or detrimental. Order these
from most likely to least likely.
The spread of a mutation in subsequent generations will, of course, depend
on its consequences to individuals that inherit it. Order the three
possibilities in part A to indicate which is most likely to spread and
become over-represented in subsequent generations, and which is most
likely to become under-represented or disappear from the population.


Some types of gene are more highly conserved than others. For each of the
following pairs of gene functions, choose the one that is more likely to be highly
genes involved in sexual reproduction / genes involved in sugar
DNA replication / developmental pathways
hormone production / lipid synthesis


Figure Q9-30 shows a hypothetical phylogenetic tree. Use this tree to answer the
following questions.

Figure Q9-30

How many years ago did species M and N diverge from their last common


How much nucleotide divergence is there on average between species M
and N?
Are species M and N more or less closely related to each other than
species P and S are?
In looking for functionally important nucleotide sequences, is it more
informative to compare the genome sequences of species M and N or
those of species M and Q?


For each statement below, indicate whether it is true or false and explain why.
All highly conserved stretches of DNA in the genome are transcribed into
To find functionally important regions of the genome, it is more useful to
compare species whose last common ancestor lived 100 million years ago
rather than 5 million years ago.
Most mutations and genome alterations have neutral consequences.
Proteins required for growth, metabolism, and cell division are more
highly conserved than those involved in development and in response to
the environment.
Introns and transposons tend to slow the evolution of new genes.


Your friend has sequenced the genome of her favorite experimental organism, a
kind of yeast. She wants to identify the locations of all the genes in this genome.
To aid her search, she collaborates with another researcher, one who has
sequenced the genome of a distantly related yeast species. Luckily, the absence of
introns simplifies the effort. She and her collaborator use a computer program to
align similar stretches of DNA sequence from the two genomes. The program
yields the graphical output shown in Figure Q9-32, where the horizontal lines
represent a portion of the two genomic sequences and vertical lines indicate where
the sequences differ. (No vertical line means that the sequence is identical in the
two yeasts.) Label both the functionally conserved regions and the divergent
(nonconserved) sequences. Are all of the functionally conserved regions likely to
be transcribed into RNA? If not, what might be the function of the nontranscribed
conserved regions?

Figure Q9-32

The genomes of some vertebrates are much smaller than those of others. For
example, the genome of the puffer fish Fugu is much smaller than the human
genome, and even much smaller than those of other fish, primarily because of the
small size of its introns.
Describe a mechanism that might drive evolution toward small introns or
loss of introns and could therefore account for the evolutionary loss of
introns according to the “introns early” hypothesis.


Describe a mechanism that might drive evolution toward more or larger
introns and could thereby account for the evolutionary appearance of
introns according to the “introns late” hypothesis.


It is thought that all eucaryotes all have about 300 genes in common. Would you
predict that these genes would be used at different times during the life cycle of
multicellular animals? Explain your answer.


Which of the following functions do you not expect to find in the set of genes
found in all organisms on Earth?
DNA replication
DNA repair
protein production
RNA splicing


Which of the following generalities about genomes is true?
All vertebrate genomes contain roughly the same number of genes.
All unicellular organisms contain roughly the same number of genes.
The larger an organism, the more genes it has.
The more types of cell an organism has, the more genes it has.

Examining The Human Genome

The human genome has 3.2 × 109 nucleotide pairs. At its peak, the Human
Genome Project was generating raw nucleotide sequences at a rate of 1000
nucleotides per second. At the rate of 1000 nucleotides per second, how long
would it take to generate 3.2 × 109 nucleotides of sequence?


The average size of a protein in a human cell is about 430 amino acids, yet the
average gene in the human genome is 27,000 nucleotide pairs long. Explain.


Which of the following statement about pseudogenes is false?
Pseudogenes code for microRNAs.
Pseudogenes share significant nucleotide similarity with functional genes.
Pseudogenes are no longer expressed in the cell.
There are estimated to be approximately 20,000 pseudogenes in the human


Which of the following statements about the human genome is false?
More than 40% of the human genome is made up of mobile genetic
More of the human genome codes for intron sequences than for exon
About 1.5% of the human genome codes for exons.
The exons are mainly what is conserved between the genomes of humans
and other mammals.


The nucleotide sequences between individuals differ by 0.1%, yet the human
genome is made up of about 3 × 109 nucleotide pairs. Which of the following
statements is false?
In most human cells, the homologous autosomes differ from each other by
All changes between human individuals are single-nucleotide
Any two individuals (other than identical twins) will generally have more
than 3 million genetic differences in their genomes.
Much of the variation between human individuals was present 100,000
years ago, when the human population was small.


Propose a reason to explain why highly repetitive regions of the genome are
particularly susceptible to expansions and contractions in number.


Which of the following processes is not thought to contribute to diversity in the
genome of human individuals?
exon shuffling
single-nucleotide polymorphisms
CA repeats
duplication and deletion of large blocks of sequence


For each statement below, indicate whether it is true or false and explain why.
The increased complexity of humans compared with flies and worms is
largely due to the vastly larger number of genes in humans.
Repeats of the CA dinucleotide are useful for crime investigations and
other forensic applications.
Most single-nucleotide polymorphisms cause no observable functional
differences between individual humans.
There is little conserved synteny between human and mouse genes.
The differences between multicellular organisms are largely explained by
the different kinds of genes carried on their chromosomes.


The number of distinct protein species found in humans and other organisms can
vastly exceed the number of genes. This is largely due to ______________.
protein degradation
alternative splicing
homologous genes


You are studying a gene that has four exons and can undergo alternative splicing.
Exon 1 has two alternatives, exon 2 has five alternatives, exon 3 has three
alternatives, and exon 4 has four alternatives. If all possible splicing combinations
were used, how many different splice isoforms could be produced for this gene?



Alternative exons can arise through the duplication and divergence of existing
exons. What type of mutation below would be least tolerated during the evolution
of a new exon?
a nucleotide change of A to G
a deletion of three consecutive bases.
mutation of the first nucleotide in the intron
a nucleotide change that alters a TT dinucleotide to AA

How We Know: Counting Genes

Explain how ESTs are identified and how they aid in finding the genes within an
organism’s genome.


Your friend discovered a new multicellular organism living under the polar ice
caps, and brought it back to the laboratory, where it seems to be growing well.
Your friend is particularly interested in the proteins that allow this organism to
survive in extreme cold. Because he is interested in proteins and because he has
learned that most of the human genome does not code for exons, he is considering
sequencing expressed sequence tags from this organism. What do you think the
pitfalls of this approach might be? Explain.


The yeast genome was sequenced more than 10 years ago, yet the total number of
genes continues to be refined. The sequencing of closely related yeast species was
important for validating the identity of short (less than 100 nucleotides long) open
reading frames (ORFs) that were otherwise difficult to predict. What is the main
reason that these short ORFs are hard to find?
The human genome does not have short ORFs.
The short ORFs code for RNAs.
Many short stretches of DNA may, by random chance, not have a stop
codon, making it difficult to distinguish those that code for proteins from
those that do not.
Short ORFs occur mainly in gene-rich regions, making them difficult to
identify by computer programs.

Give the definition for each of the following molecules/phenomena (write  – 1
:(clear, short sentences for each one of them










Transcription regulator








Polycistronic mRNA


Combinatory control of gene expression


RNA interference


Transcription start site


Translation start site


Which of the following statements about transcriptional regulators is  8­7
Transcriptional regulators usually interact with the sugar­phosphate


backbone on the outside of the double helix to determine where to bind on the
.DNA helix
Transcriptional regulators will form hydrogen bonds, ionic bonds, and
.hydrophobic interactions with DNA


The DNA­binding motifs of transcriptional regulators usually bind in


.the major groove of the DNA helix
The binding of transcriptional regulators generally does not disrupt the


.hydrogen bonds that holds the double helix together
Which of the following statements about the Lac operon is FALSE? 8­10
.The Lac repressor binds when lactose is present in the cell


Even when the CAP activator is bound to DNA, if lactose is not present, the


.Lac operon will not be transcribed
.The CAP activator can only bind DNA when it is bound to cAMP


The Lac operon only produces RNA when lactose is present and glucose is


Which of the following statements about miRNAs is FALSE? EXPLAIN  8­45
.One miRNA can regulate the expression of many genes


.miRNAs are transcribed in the nucleus from genomic DNA


.miRNAs are produced from rRNAs


.miRNAs are made by RNA polymerase


Give the names for items 1 through 4 in the following figure and write a 8­25
.brief (1­2 sentences) definition about their function

Combinatorial control of gene expression ________________. EXPLAIN 8­32
involves every gene using a different combination of transcriptional regulators


for its proper expression
involves groups of transcriptional regulators working together to determine the


expression of a gene
involves only the use of gene activators used together to regulate genes


is seen only when genes are arranged in operons


The MyoD transcriptional regulator is normally found in cells which are 8­34
differentiating into muscle cells and participates in the transcription of genes that
produce muscle­specific proteins, such as those needed in contractile tissue.
Amazingly, artificial expression of MyoD in fibroblasts causes these cells derived
from skin connective tissue to produce proteins normally only seen in muscles.
However, some other cell types do not transcribe muscle­specific genes when MyoD
is also artificially expressed in them. Which of the following statements below is the
best explanation of why MyoD can cause fibroblasts to express muscle­specific
.genes? EXPLAIN

Unlike some other cell types, fibroblasts have not lost the muscle­specific


.genes from their genome
.The muscle­specific genes must be in heterochromatin in fibroblasts


During their developmental history, fibroblasts have accumulated some


.transcriptional regulators in common with differentiating muscle cells
The presence of MyoD is sufficient to activate the transcription of muscle­
.specific genes in all cell types