Definition of mutagen in English:



  • An agent, such as radiation or a chemical substance, that causes genetic mutation.

    • ‘These mutagens cause point mutations, because they change the genetic code at one point, so changing a protein's amino acid sequence.’
    • ‘Among the mutagens that have been used to induce mutations, chemical mutagens administered in various ways have become especially popular.’
    • ‘One possible explanation for these exceptional findings might be contamination of the ethanol with a mutagen.’
    • ‘The so-called Ames test is based on the fact that most carcinogens are mutagens (substances that damage DNA).’
    • ‘Exposure to ionizing radiation or environmental mutagens and carcinogens may lead to genomic instability.’
    • ‘Significantly, their findings were supported by both in vivo and in vitro experiments using reference mutagens.’
    • ‘Unlike most chemical mutagens, which tend to cause point mutations, rays tend to produce larger aberrations such as chromosome deficiencies or rearrangements.’
    • ‘Firstly, risks to the descendants of trial participants because of the inadvertent modification of germ cells are not identical to those for chemical mutagens.’
    • ‘But we can provoke a quicker second hit by treating the animals with a chemical mutagen or a carcinogen.’
    • ‘For genetics and breeding, it is fundamentally important to know the germline mutation rate induced by a mutagen.’
    • ‘According to experimental data, some pesticides and organic solvents are considered potential chemical mutagens.’
    • ‘A host of carcinogens spew forth, along with poisons, mutagens, and mind-altering drugs.’
    • ‘Chemicals that cause changes in DNA sequence, or mutations, are called mutagens.’
    • ‘Detection of low frequency mutations following exposure to mutagens or during the early stages of cancer development is instrumental for risk assessment and molecular diagnosis.’
    • ‘The integrity and stability of the genetic material is continuously being threatened by endogenous and exogenous factors such as chemical mutagens and radiation.’
    • ‘We show here that these strains can be used to determine very easily the mutagenic specificity of various mutagens.’
    • ‘Cell-culture procedures, chemical mutagens, and radiation all have been applied in what people now refer to as traditional, or conventional, plant breeding for the better part of a century.’
    • ‘Poisons, mutagens, and carcinogens might be created in harmful concentrations.’
    • ‘The purpose of this study was to determine if cooked meat containing only moderate concentrations of the known food mutagens would be detectably mutagenic.’
    • ‘Chemical mutagens and ionizing radiation have long been used as plant mutagens in forward genetic studies.’


1940s: from mutation + -gen.