Mutations occur randomly—they are not caused by agents that allow mutants to grow.

■ If the rate of mutation to streptomycin resistance is 10:6 and to penicillin resistance is 10:4, what is the rate of mutation to simultaneous resistance to both antibiotics?

■ Is it as effective to take two antibiotics sequentially as it is to take them simultaneously, as long as the total length of time that they are both taken is the same? Explain.

8.6 Mutant Selection 199

Table 8.2 Repair of Damaged DNA

Type of Defect

Repair Mechanism

Biochemical Mechanism



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