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Difference Between DNA Sequence Mutations and Epigenetic Modifications | DNA Sequence Mutations vs Epigenetic Modifications


The key difference between DNA sequence mutations and epigenetic modifications is that during DNA sequence mutations, changes occur in the original DNA sequences while during epigenetic modifications, changes do not occur in the original DNA sequences.

The genome represents the overall genetic information of an organism in the form of precise DNA sequences or genes. A particular gene contains a particular genetic code to produce a specific protein. Hence, genes are expressed via two processes: transcription and translation. However, due to various reasons, changes occur in DNA sequences of the genes. We call these kinds of alterations in nucleotides sequences mutations. Some times, even without changing the original DNA sequences of the genes, gene expression changes and produces different phenotypes. We call these instances epigenetic modifications.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are DNA Sequence Mutations 
3. What are Epigenetic Modifications
4. Similarities Between DNA Sequence Mutations and Epigenetic Modifications
5. Side by Side Comparison – DNA Sequence Mutations vs Epigenetic Modifications in Tabular Form
6. Summary

What are DNA Sequence Mutations?

Mutations are the changes that occur in the nucleotide sequences of DNA. When a mutation occurs, it alters the precise nucleotide order of the DNA sequence. As a result, genetic information changes within a particular sequence. A single nucleotide change can create a deleterious effect on an organism; for example, genetic disorders. However, some times, it does not pose a threat. If the mutation occurs in an exon region of a gene, it can result in a wrong protein. Furthermore, germline mutations result in genetic disorders when they pass to the next generation since they occur in sex cells such as sperms and eggs. However, most other mutations are noninheritable.