Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Let us consider a gene FOO with novel type foo.

If I were discussing an organism that has inherited foo in every cell during classical zygote formation, then I would ordinarily just say that the organism has foo.

If I were discussing a SNP of FOO that gives rise to foo in a tumor cell of an organism, I wouldn't say that the organism has foo, but I might say that the tumor has it.

If I were discussing a chimeric or mosaic organism in which some fraction of the chimera had foo and the other fraction had FOO, I would have to say something like "in foo-containing cells ..."

But what if I wanted to particularly draw attention to the scope of applicability of the allele in question? That is, I want to talk about the scope explicitly, rather than implicitly. How could I directly refer to the scope of applicability of an allele? Is there a single adjective that captures the concept of "This organism has foo in every cell except in rare ones where a point mutation may have occurred; it's probably been inherited during normal meiosis" and is there a contrasting term for "The organism only has foo in a particular subset of its cells and there is some other genetic process necessary to explain that."?

share|improve this question
2  
I have never seen a term applied to that - although there was a question on here a few weeks ago about something similar. Can't find it now though! –  Luke Sep 10 '12 at 21:19
1  
I've also never heard of it. Perhaps it's best to refer to it in the context of the chronology of development (e.g., "the foo mutation happened early in development and is thus prevalent in most cell lineages in the organism")? –  Atticus29 Feb 5 '13 at 7:20

1 Answer 1

If I were discussing a SNP of FOO that gives rise to foo in a tumor cell of an organism, I wouldn't say that the organism has foo, but I might say that the tumor has it.

You can call it a somatic mutation. See this paper. They report such mutations in cancer.

You can use the term like this:

Carcinoma tissue had a somatic mutation in XYZ oncogene, thereby making it constitutively active.


If I were discussing a chimeric or mosaic organism in which some fraction of the chimera had foo and the other fraction had FOO

In this case you can say:

The organism is chimeric for gene-X, expressing variants X1 and X2

From this article:

Effects of AngII-Infusion Into LDL Receptor−/− Mice That Were Chimeric for AT1a Receptors

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.