Difference Between Exon and Cistron

Exons are the segments of DNA and RNA that contain information coding for a protein or peptide sequence. Cistron is the DNA segment that codes for a specific polypeptide in protein synthesis. Let us have a detailed overview of the difference between exon and cistron.

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Exon vs Cistron

Following are the important difference between exon and cistron:

Exon Cistron
These are the coding regions of DNA, i.e., an exon has several cistrons. It is the DNA segment that directs the synthesis of a peptide sequence.
These appear in mature or processed RNA. It is an alternative term for gene.
It was discovered by Richard Roberts. Cistron was discovered by Seymour Benzer.

What is an Exon?

Exon is a segment of DNA that contains information coding for a protein. That can either be together or separated by introns. These introns are non-coding sequences that are removed to make a functional mRNA molecule. This functional mRNA molecule is then translated into protein.

What is Cistron?

Cistron is the alternative term for gene. It is the DNA segment that codes for a polypeptide during protein synthesis. A DNA segment with one cistron is called monocistronic, whereas, a DNA segment with more than one cistron is called polycistronic.

Also Read: Transcription

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