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mutation

Mutation and Evolution

In 1901 the observation of mutants, or sports, among evening primrose plants led the Dutch botanist Hugo de Vries to present his theory that new characteristics may appear suddenly and that these characteristics are inheritable; before this time the sources of evolutionary variation were not known and some still believed that evolution resulted from a gradual selection of favorable acquired characteristics. The work of de Vries and of subsequent investigators who demonstrated the distinction between mutation and environmental variations has shown the importance of mutation in the mechanism of evolution.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on mutation Mutation and Evolution from Infoplease:

  • mutation: Mutation and Evolution - Mutation and Evolution In 1901 the observation of mutants, or sports, among evening primrose plants ...
  • mutation - mutation mutation, in biology, a sudden, random change in a gene, or unit of hereditary material, ...

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