Definition of cistron in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsisträn/


A section of a DNA or RNA molecule that codes for a specific polypeptide in protein synthesis.
Example sentences
  • Almost all eukaryotes have multiple copies of their nuclear ribosomal RNA cistrons, arranged in a long tandem array.
  • Benzer called this unit the ‘cistron’; molecular biologists came to view the cistron as the nucleotide sequence encoding a single polypeptide.
  • We find that full function of the endogenous rDNA locus depends not merely on the presence of the rDNA cistrons but also on chromosomal context.


1950s: from cis- + trans- (because of the possibility of two genes being on the same or different chromosomes) + -on.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cis·tron

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