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What is the term, if there is one, to describe the natural state of a gene? The one single word to describe it, just like mutation is the one single word do describe a deviation from that state.

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  • $\begingroup$ If you had written "what's the opposite of mutant", I'd have an answer for you. However, mutation and mutant are not synonyms. $\endgroup$ – user24284 Nov 14 '17 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ If you brought this up and mentioned clearly that the two are not synonymous, what is it for Mutant? I'm asking for general knowledge. $\endgroup$ – Arcticooling Nov 14 '17 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ I just added an answer and edited your title. Feel free to roll it back. $\endgroup$ – user24284 Nov 14 '17 at 13:10
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A mutation can be both the act of changing the genetic material (the process) or the changed genetic material itself (the result of the process). You're using the second meaning. See What is the definition of a mutation? for more info.

That being said, the opposite of a mutant allele is a wild type allele.

According to Pierce in his book "Genetics: A Conceptual Approach" (2012):

The normal allele for a character is called the wild type because it is the allele most often found in the wild. (emphasis mine)

The same way, the opposite of a mutant phenotype is a wild type phenotype.

Besides that, you can sometimes find "wild" alone, without "type": wild allele, wild phenotype etc...


Source: Pierce, B. (2012). Genetics. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman.

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    $\begingroup$ This is correct +1. In response to your comments above, note that many people use the term "mutation" for "mutant allele" which is a little confusing. Just type "carry the mutation" in Google Scholar to find examples. You might also want to have a look at What is the definition of a mutation? $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Nov 14 '17 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, very confusing I'd say... And that annoys me. Anyway, OP just rolled back my edit, so I clarified the issue in my answer. $\endgroup$ – user24284 Nov 14 '17 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Remi.b thanks for your edit, the linked answer is very didactic. $\endgroup$ – user24284 Nov 14 '17 at 22:25

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