Does the DNA of a tadpole change after it becomes a frog? In other words what changes take place as a tadpole becomes a frog, and does this metamorphosis affect the DNA in any way?

I would appreciate your help. I am doing research for a book I'm in the process of writing. If you can refer me to research material, I would appreciate that also.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome at Biology SE! Your question in the title is valid, but your second question is, I beg your pardon, so unscientific that I think this question will be closed. I suggest to read basic biology textbooks to get basic understanding why organism transform from one to another in an instance. in short it does not work like that. $\endgroup$ – Nandor Poka Apr 28 '15 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ Is your question a better fit for worldbuilding.SE? If so, we can migrate it there. $\endgroup$ – kmm Apr 28 '15 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your reference to the world-building site. I have posted my 2nd question there. Enjoy your day--CC $\endgroup$ – user15548 Apr 28 '15 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it has no biological basis. $\endgroup$ – Luigi Apr 28 '15 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ the question has been edited to probably fit the rules... should we conider reopening this? $\endgroup$ – Rover Eye Apr 28 '15 at 17:58

Your germline DNA remains the same no matter what you do in the growth process (The DNA of a child is the same as the DNA of the adult). What does change is the expression of the DNA (transcriptomic profile), other regulatory factors (Epigenetic modifications), alternative forms of the same DNA expressed differently (splice site variations and alternative promoters) things like that.

Your somatic DNA does undergo small changes, caused by (retro) transposons, and in a few cells, like the mature B and T cells, they contain only a small subset of a few essential genes (that give them their specificity to an antigen), and other small changes like that (credit: mdperry, see comments).

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for answering my 1st question in layman's terms. I appreciate your time. As for the 2nd part, which is basically a "what if", I will try your world building site.--Best regards, CC $\endgroup$ – user15548 Apr 28 '15 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ DNA gets methylated in certain places.. That is the only "change" that happens with DNA. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 29 '15 at 4:49
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    $\begingroup$ We need to make a distinction between somatic DNA and germline DNA. In vertebrates with an immune system, the B-cells that produce antibodies all contain rearranged DNA in their antibody light chain and heavy chain genes (for example). Similarly the T-cells contain rearranged T-cell receptor genes. These are all somatic cells. In contrast, the germline DNA remains intact and identical until meiosis and the recombination that accompanies crossing over. This fundamental observation (somatic rearrangement) was shown in 1975 by Susumu Tonegawa and Noburo Hozumi. $\endgroup$ – mdperry Apr 29 '15 at 11:24
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    $\begingroup$ Also, transposable elements are active in somatic cells of many species and introduce DNA rearrangements. $\endgroup$ – mdperry Apr 29 '15 at 11:26

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