Definition of operon in English:


Pronunciation /ˈäpəˌrän/ /ˈɑpəˌrɑn/


  • A unit made up of linked genes which 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.’
    • ‘Despite the absence of operons, eukaryotes are still capable of a very fine level of control over gene transcription.’
    • ‘It has been noted that coexpressed genes are frequently situated as contiguous clusters within an operon.’


1960s from French opérer ‘to effect, work’+ -on.