What Are Examples of Chromosomal Mutations?

Some examples of chromosomal mutations are a change of pigment in flowers and change of fur patterns in mammals compared to general population, and sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis in humans. On the level of a DNA molecule, examples of chromosomal mutations are substitution, insertion, deletion and frameshift.

Chromosomal mutations are changes in the DNA molecule, which result in mistakes in producing proteins as compared to most people. The larger the segment of a DNA chain that is affected by mutation, the more serious effects on an individual's health are. The conditions caused by chromosomal mutations are called genetic disorders. Chromosomal mutations can be inherited from parents and passed down through subsequent generations, or they can be acquired during an individual's lifetime, in which case they do not become hereditary.

Some chromosomal mutations are common and harmless, such as different eye colors in humans. Some result in a condition that affects health, such as Down's syndrome. Sometimes chromosomal mutations are beneficial and can produce proteins that fight a particular disease.

Chromosomal mutations happen when the building blocks of a DNA double-helix molecule switch places, get inserted or deleted or shift places. For instance, when one base is swapped for another in the beta-hemoglobin gene, sickle cell anemia ensues.