codon

noun
co·​don | \ ˈkō-ˌdän How to pronounce codon (audio) \

Definition of codon

: a specific sequence of three consecutive nucleotides that is part of the genetic code and that specifies a particular amino acid in a protein or starts or stops protein synthesis

called also triplet

Examples of codon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One way that viruses adapt is by encoding proteins using the same choice of codons as their host. David Cyranoski, Scientific American, "Some Scientists Skeptical about Snakes Spreading New Virus in China," 23 Jan. 2020 One way is using genetic data to look at codons—triplets of DNA or RNA letters that are the instructions for making proteins. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Snakes?! The Slippery Truth of a Flawed Wuhan Virus Theory," 23 Jan. 2020 Wei’s team compared the codons favoured by 2019-nCoV with those preferred by potential hosts including hedgehogs, pangolins, bats, chickens, humans and snakes. David Cyranoski, Scientific American, "Some Scientists Skeptical about Snakes Spreading New Virus in China," 23 Jan. 2020 Wei’s team compared the codons preferred by 2019-nCoV to those preferred by a handful of potential hosts: humans, bats, chickens, hedgehogs, pangolins, and two species of snakes. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Snakes?! The Slippery Truth of a Flawed Wuhan Virus Theory," 23 Jan. 2020 The same general argument could apply to whether three is the best number of letters for constituting a codon. Quanta Magazine, "Is a Bigger Genetic Code Better? Get Ready to Find Out," 2 Jan. 2018 Researchers studying the genetic code have gradually determined that its codon-amino acid assignments are decidedly not random. Quanta Magazine, "Is a Bigger Genetic Code Better? Get Ready to Find Out," 2 Jan. 2018 In modern strains, it has been reduced to an imperfect, nonfunctional copy called a pseudogene, thanks to a stop codon in the middle of its sequence. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient DNA reveals the secrets of a devastating European disease," 26 Sep. 2018 Repurposing just one codon across all 20,000 human genes will require hundreds of thousands of DNA changes. Elie Dolgin, Scientific American, "Scientists Downsize Bold Plan to Make Human Genome from Scratch," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'codon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of codon

1962, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for codon

code entry 1 + -on entry 2

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Statistics for codon

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Codon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/codon. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for codon

codon

noun
co·​don | \ ˈkō-ˌdän How to pronounce codon (audio) \

Medical Definition of codon

: a specific sequence of three consecutive nucleotides that is part of the genetic code and that specifies a particular amino acid in a protein or starts or stops protein synthesis

called also triplet

More from Merriam-Webster on codon

Nglish: Translation of codon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about codon

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