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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2017, High School Biology

Download PDF Document  Question 44: Open-Response  
A certain genetic disorder is caused by a single base mutation in the DNA of a certain gene. The mutation changes the amino acid glutamate (Glu) to aspartate (Asp).
  1. Identify the type of macromolecule (carbohydrate, lipid, nucleic acid, protein) that changes when Glu changes to Asp. Explain your answer.
A portion of the amino acid sequence that includes this mutation is shown below.

Val-Ser-Ala-Arg-Asp
The sample of DNA below is being analyzed to determine if a patient has the genetic disorder.

3’ CAA-TCG-CGG-TCT-CTT 5’
  1. Determine the mRNA sequence from the patient's DNA sequence.
  2. Using the information in the codon table below, determine the amino acid sequence that is coded for by the mRNA sequence you determined in part (b).
  3. Determine whether the patient has the genetic disorder. Explain your answer.
First, second, and third bases of mRNA Codon table

Scoring Guide and Sample Student Work
Select a score point in the table below to view the sample student response.

ScoreDescription
4 The response demonstrates a thorough understanding of transcription, translation, and how mutations in the DNA sequence of a gene may or may not result in a phenotypic change in an organism. The response correctly identifies the type of macromolecule that changes when an amino acid changes and clearly explains the answer. The response correctly determines the mRNA sequence from the DNA sequence and the amino acid sequence from the mRNA sequence. The response also correctly determines whether the patient has the genetic disorder and clearly explains the answer.
4
3 The response demonstrates a general understanding of transcription, translation, and how mutations in the DNA sequence of a gene may or may not result in a phenotypic change in an organism.
2 The response demonstrates a limited understanding of transcription, translation, and how mutations in the DNA sequence of a gene may or may not result in a phenotypic change in an organism.
1 The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of transcription, translation, and how mutations in the DNA sequence of a gene may or may not result in a phenotypic change in an organism.
0 The response is incorrect or contains some correct work that is irrelevant to the skill or concept being measured.

Note: There are 2 sample student responses for Score Point 4.

High School Biology

Question 12: Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Question 23: Ecology
Question 32: Anatomy and Physiology
Question 44: Genetics
Question 45: Evolution and Biodiversity

Return to the MCAS 2017 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: November 17, 2017
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