Considerations of the Origin of Spontaneous Mutations

  • S. E. Bresler


Spontaneous mutations are the main driving force of evolution. This is equally valid for the cellular or the prebiological period of life history. During the precellular prebiological period first considered by A. I. Oparin (1) and theoretically analyzed by M. Eigen (2), spontaneous mutations were the main cause of structural changes of information-containing molecules, that increased their “selective value.” Gradually, the increasing sophistication of the self-instructional process led to supermolecular structures and finally to their most perfect combination—the cell. But the same mechanism preceded functioning and appeared as the basis of phylogeny of living matter. Therefore, it seems important to know the true origin of spontaneous mutations which, according to their name, arise without any visible reason. There were many attempts to explain spontaneous mutations by environmental factors like cosmic rays, or by the mutagenic action of some common metabolites, like hydrogen peroxide. All these ideas did not stand quantitative trial.


Spontaneous Mutation Auxotrophic Mutant Nucleoside Triphosphate Visible Reason Thymine Starvation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. E. Bresler
    • 1
  1. 1.Leningrad Institute of Nuclear PhysicsAcademy of Sciences of USSRMoscowUSSR

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