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codonCodon (ger.)

  • The smallest group of nucleotides in a polynucleotide that determines which amino-acid shall be inserted at any given position in a polypeptide chain; it is found experimentally to be a sequence of three consecutive nucleotides. (OED 2011)
    information code

    The Codon. This is a group of bases that code for one amino acid. In simple codes a codon is a fixed number of consecutive bases, e.g., in a ‘triplet’ code it is three consecutive bases, but it is possible to conceive codes in which, for example, some codons consist of two bases and others of three. Again it is not certain that the bases making up a codon are adjacent on the polynucleotide chain.

    Crick, F.H.C. (1963). The recent excitement in the coding problem. In: Davidson, J.N. & Cohn, W.E. (eds.). Progress in Nucleic Acid Research, vol. 1, 163-217: 166.


    codon The unit of genetic coding; a triplet of adjacent nucleotides in DNA or in messenger RNA, which specify a particular amino acid; coding triplet.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 50.