Mutation in gene Unc-93 results in apparent muscle defects in C. Elegans.

Essay by jtm123University, Bachelor'sA-, December 2003

download word file, 11 pages 5.0

Mutation in gene Unc-93 results in apparent muscle defects in C. Elegans.

John Mathew

Joshua Kistner

Dr. Lyczak

November 8, 2002


Mutations occur when the base pairs in DNA are altered, and could result in everything from a minor change in phenotype to a lethal change in the cell. Unc-93 in Caenorhabditis elegans is responsible for muscle contraction. DNA strains from three worms: LU-55, LU-57, and N2 are extracted, purified, and analyzed to find out if a frameshift mutation causes the loss of muscle contraction in the C. elegans. Data obtained from the Gel Electrophoresis suggests that N2 is the wild-type worm since its DNA had no deletions. Primers were used in a process called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to amplify regions on the unc-93 gene in order to determine the deletions in the DNA. Lu-57 had a deletion in Primer A and Lu-55 has a deletion in Primer B region on the unc-93 gene.

It was also noted that LU-55 and LU-57 had sluggish, awkward moving pattern because of this mutation. N2, on the other hand, did not depict any kind of sluggishness in its mobility. Therefore, it was concluded from the results that the deletion of nucleotides in unc-93 genes caused a mutation in the LU-55 and Lu-57 worms which, in turn, resulted in loss of muscle control in these organisms.


Mutation occurs when a modification takes place in the base pair of an organism's DNA. Cells that undergo such a phenomenon are known as mutant cells (Russell, 2002). Effects of mutation on an organism vary from harmless change in phenotype to lethal conditions such as cancer. Addition or deletion of base pairs from a protein-coding gene could result in a type of mutation called a frameshift mutation (Shah et al, 2002). This kind of shift...