What does SNP mean in Biology?
This page is about the meanings of the acronym/abbreviation/shorthand SNP in the Academic & Science field in general and in the Biology terminology in particular.
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What does SNP mean?
- Single-nucleotide polymorphism
- A single-nucleotide polymorphism is a DNA sequence variation occurring when a single nucleotide — A, T, C or G — in the genome differs between members of a biological species or paired chromosomes in a human. For example, two sequenced DNA fragments from different individuals, AAGCCTA to AAGCTTA, contain a difference in a single nucleotide. In this case we say that there are two alleles. Almost all common SNPs have only two alleles. The genomic distribution of SNPs is not homogenous; SNPs usually occur in non-coding regions more frequently than in coding regions or, in general, where natural selection is acting and fixating the allele of the SNP that constitutes the most favorable genetic adaptation. Other factors, like genetic recombination and mutation rate, can also determine SNP density. SNP density can be predicted by the presence of microsatellites: AT microsatellites in particular are potent predictors of SNP density, with long repeat tracts tending to be found in regions of significantly reduced SNP density and low GC content. Within a population, SNPs can be assigned a minor allele frequency — the lowest allele frequency at a locus that is observed in a particular population. This is simply the lesser of the two allele frequencies for single-nucleotide polymorphisms. There are variations between human populations, so a SNP allele that is common in one geographical or ethnic group may be much rarer in another.
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