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383 intro paragraph 2

Submitted by liamharvey on Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:16

Using RNAi, we can use a mutagen to silence any gene in almost any organism, enabling us to perform reverse genetics to analyze genes. Sodium azide (NaN3), a chemical commonly used to cause a transition from an AT to a GC was used on our as a mutagen on our mutant B. distachyon seeds. Sodium azide functions in chemical inhibition of DNA repairs, often creating a base substitution. These changes can result in various mutations including silent, missense, nonsense, or frameshift mutations. In the DNA sequence, we looked for high impact mutations in the coding regions, splice sites, and donor sequences. We found a high impact mutation in our gene that we determined was a nonsense mutation. A nonsense mutation is a point mutation in which a single amino acid is introduced that changes the codon to a stop codon. Stop codons include the amino acids UGA, UAG, and UAA. These codons terminate protein synthesis and thus, a mutation for a stop codon can have a huge impact on an organism (Scovell, 2018).