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Mutations (lat. mutare "to change, transform") are spontaneously occurring changes in the genetic information in the genome of the cell nuclei of plant and animal organisms, which play an important role in evolution. These mostly occur selectively (point mutations), but can also include larger DNA sections (deletion, insertion, chromosome breaks). If the mutations occur in the germ line, they are passed on to the next generation. If the organism is not cloned (in plants such as the grapevine by vegetative propagation) or not passed on by reproduction (growth of a grape seed), the mutations accumulated in the cell nuclei with increasing age disappear with the natural death of the organism. Only a small percentage of spontaneously occurring mutations produce positive effects, many mutations remain silent or express themselves only minimally or gradually. Since the end of the 20th century, mutations have also been artificially induced by genetic manipulation.

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