We know that most part of our genome (at least 75 percent) is non-coding DNA. Can it be a way to protect the organism from mutations in important genes, such as the ones which control cellular cycle, as a mutations is much more likely to occur on these parts of the genome?

I've never been told if it could have such a function, and I thought about recently and wasn't able to find a clear answer.

So thanks in advance


1 Answer 1


You seem to be under the impression that there are a set number mutations per cell, which is not true. The number of mutations is roughly proportional to the number of bases — this is because mutations typically happen as a result of errors during DNA replication .1 Consequently, more DNA will not protect the coding portions of the genome from mutation.

The reason why mutations appear to be suppressed in coding regions is due to selection.2


1: Lodish, H., Berk, A., Zipursky, S. L., Matsudaira, P., Baltimore, D., & Darnell, J. (2000). Molecular cell biology 4th edition. National Center for Biotechnology Information, Bookshelf.

2: Griffiths, A.J.F., Gelbart, W.M., Miller, J.H. and Lewontin, R.C. (1990) The Molecular Basis of Mutation. In: Modern Genetic Analysis. W.H. Freeman and Company, New York.


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