A unit made up of linked genes that is thought to regulate other genes responsible for protein synthesis.
- In bacteria, these genes are clustered in operons, while in eukaryotes, they are widely dispersed throughout the genome.
- Jacob and Monod called these regulated stretches of DNA operons.
- Horizontal transfer of whole genes and operons between divergent species is a frequent event.
1960s: from French opérer 'to effect, work' + -on.
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