The topic of Genetic Change is new to the HSC Biology syllabus and may feel like uncharted territory to some students, but that’s why it’s important you consolidate your knowledge with some practice questions!

Module 6 brings into focus new and old concepts from fundamental DNA structure to biotechnology and genetic mutation.

Genetic Change explores the ways in which new genotypes can be introduced into the population, including mutation, environmental pressures and induced with biotechnology.

If you need a quick recap before beginning the practice questions, read up on our HSC Biology Module 6: Genetic Change Guide here, which sums up this topic perfectly! 

In this article, you can find 20 HSC style practice questions across all three inquiry questions to test and revise your knowledge of Genetic Change!

So, what are you waiting for? Get practicing!

Mutation
Biotechnology
Genetic Technologies

Mutation

Inquiry question 1: How does mutation introduce new alleles into a population?

Question 1

A nonsense mutation is a mutation which: (1 mark)

a) Swaps an amino acid with another

b) Generates a stop codon in the sequence

c) Adds a codon to an RNA transcript

d) Deletes sections of RNA

 

(Compare the causes, processes and effects of different types of mutation, including but not limited to: point mutation, chromosomal mutation )

Question 2

The bread mould, Neurospora crassa, normally produces its own amino acids from raw materials through a system of enzymes.

HSC Biology Genetic Change Practice Questions

If a mutation occurred in gene B, the bread mould would still produce arginine if supplied with: (1 mark)

a) Citrulline

b) Ornithine

c) Enzyme C

d) Raw materials

 

(Sourced from HSC Biology 2019 additional sample HSC questions)

 

Evaluate the effect of mutation, gene flow and genetic drift on the gene pool of populations

Question 3

Ionizing radiation is a high-energy form of radiation which can cause ions or free radicals to form. Which of the following correctly describes the action that free radicals can have on DNA? (1 mark)

 

a) Cause oxidative damage from stealing electrons from DNA molecules

b) Release compounds which interfere with transcription processes

c) Cleave DNA strands

d) Prevents DNA polymerase activity

 

Explain how a range of mutagens operate, including but not limited to:  – electromagnetic radiation sources.

Question 4

The flow diagram illustrates the effect of a point mutation on an organism’s genetic sequence.

 

  1. CTGAGA → (2) ATGTGA → (3) GACAUC → (4) ?????? →  (5) Faulty protein

a) List the sequence of events from stages 2 to 4 that result in the formation of the faulty protein. (3 marks)

b) Describe how a mutagen might cause the changes in the 2nd stage and what consequences this could have for the organism. (4 marks)

 

Source: Adapted from Biology 2019 additional sample HSC questions

 

Compare the causes, processes and effects of different types of mutation, including but not limited to:   – point mutation)

Question 5

 Introns and exons are respectively the non-coding and the coding nucleotide sequences within a gene. 

 

a) Explain what you would expect to happen to the translated DNA sequence if an intron was modified by a mutagen. (3 marks)

b) By the same logic, what would you expect to happen to the translated DNA sequence if an exon was modified by a mutagen. (3 marks)

 

Assess the significance of ‘coding’ and ‘non-coding’ DNA segments in the process of mutation.

Question 6

Genetic drift is the random process of alleles being passed from parents to offspring. Explain why the process of genetic drift will not increase the genetic diversity of a population. (4 marks)

 

Evaluate the effect of mutation, gene flow and genetic drift on the gene pool of populations.

Question 7

In the table below, compare the differences in effect between point mutations and chromosomal mutations. (3 marks)

Compare the causes, processes and effects of different types of mutation, including but not limited to: – point mutation – chromosomal mutation

Biotechnology

Inquiry question: How do genetic techniques affect Earth’s biodiversity?  

Question 8

In society, there are ideological dilemmas regarding the use of DNA technology. Suggest reasons for this. (3 marks)

 

Analysing the social implications and ethical uses of biotechnology, including plant and animal examples.

Question 9

Some uses of DNA technology have roused debate over their drawbacks and potential benefits. 

a) Name and describe one such use of DNA technology (2 marks)

b) Discuss the reasons behind its support and its opposition (6 marks)

 

Evaluating the potential benefits for society of research using genetic technologies.

Question 10

Describe TWO potential directions that future use of biotechnology will head towards. (4 marks)

 

Researching future directions of the use of biotechnology.

Question 11

‘The application of reproductive technologies in plant and animal breeding limits genetic diversity.’ To what extent is this statement correct? (6 marks)

 

Source: Biology 2019 additional sample HSC questions

Evaluating the changes to the Earth’s biodiversity due to genetic techniques.

Question 12

Identify and describe an early form of biotechnology and how it might have shaped our use of biotechnology today. (5 marks)

 

Analysing the social implications and ethical uses of biotechnology, including plant and animal examples.

Question 13

Describe some of the uses of biotechnology in the agricultural industry. What are some potential concerns that may arise? (3 marks)

 

Analysing the social implications and ethical uses of biotechnology, including plant and animal examples

Genetic Technologies

Inquiry question: Does artificial manipulation of DNA have the potential to change populations forever? 

Question 14

The insertion of working copies of a gene into the cells of an individual who has a genetic disorder to attempt to rectify it, is the fundamental process in which of the following? (1 mark)

a) Selective breeding

b) Gene therapy

c) Hybridisation

d) Cloning

 

Investigate the uses and advantages of current genetic technologies that induce genetic change

Question 15

Which of the following poses as a disadvantage when utilising artificial, mechanical pollination? (1 mark)

a) Less efficient than natural means

b) More efficient than natural means

c) Largely labour intensive

d) Less expensive than natural means

 

Compare the processes and outcomes of reproductive technologies, including but not limited to:  – artificial insemination – artificial pollination 

Question 16

A recombinant DNA molecule is created using: (1 mark)

a) 2 DNA fragments

b) 2 or more DNA fragments

c) 2 or more DNA fragments from different organisms

d) None of the above

 

Describe techniques and applications used in recombinant DNA technology

Question 17

Using a flowchart, or other diagrammatic methods, show the sequence of events which results in the formation of recombinant DNA. (4 marks)

 

Source: Adapted from Biology 2019 additional sample HSC questions

Describe techniques and applications used in recombinant DNA technology

Question 18

Selective breeding is a form of biotechnology

a) Explain, using a specific species of animal, what is meant by the term selective breeding. (2 marks)

b) Describe how the biodiversity of the species has changed as a result of selective breeding. (2 marks)

 

Evaluate the effect on biodiversity of using biotechnology in agriculture

Question 19

Since the mid to late 20th century, the development of genetic technology was centered around benefiting mankind. This resulted in a range of beneficial drugs, vaccines and food crops which were engineered using genetic technology.

 

Select one example and assess the significance of genetic technology in its creation and implementation. (8 marks)

 

Evaluate the benefits of using genetic technologies in agricultural, medical and industrial applications

Question 20

Transgenic organisms are often used and cultivated in the agricultural industry. Many of these GMOs are created using recombinant DNA technology. Outline the stages of recombinant DNA technology. (5 marks)

 

Describe techniques and applications used in recombinant DNA technology

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Alex Gao is an Art of Smart mentor and blogger who is passionate about teaching students the skills and know-how of high school. Alex has a great interest in the field of Biology, avidly blogging about the topic whilst also aspiring to become a Biomedical Engineer. Alex graduated in 2018 and was listed on the Distinguished Achievers list for Advanced English, Extension 1 English and Biology.