Name: C. L.
Are codons universal?
For instance, are they assigned to the same amino acids in other organisms
like flowers and fish?
Yes. All known living things on earth use the same genetic code.
Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
yes the genetic code is universal. However there are
multiple choices per amino acid, and the preferred
codon for a given amino acid may differ between
organisms. The only exception to the general genetic
code is that used by mitochondria. These are small
organelles inside a cell that provide the cell with
energy and where respiration takes place. These
organelles contain their own DNA and here they use a
few different codons, eg. TGA (or more correctly UGA)
means STOP in the general genetic code, but
tryptophane in mammalial mitochondria. There are 4
other codons that differ between mitochondria and the
rest of the genetic world.Other than that, we can all
read eachothers DNA, between animals, plants, and even
bacteria. The meaning of the resulting protein may
remain a mistery to us, though.
Dr. Trudy Wassenaar
Absolutely!! This is one of the best pieces of evidence for a common
ancestor for all life because all living things use the same genetic code and
the proteins made are put together by the same amino acids.
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Update: June 2012