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Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Human Heredity: Principles and Iss...

11th Edition
Michael Cummings
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781305251052
Chapter 9, Problem 4QP
Textbook Problem
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If the genetic code uses triplets, how many different amino acids can be coded by a repeating RNA polymer composed of UA and UC (UAUCUAUCUAUC ...)?

  1. a. one
  2. b. two
  3. c. three
  4. d. four
  5. e. five

Summary Introduction

Introduction: The genetic information is encoded in the DNA in the form of repeated units of four nucleotides. The triplet of nucleotides forms the genetic code. Each triplet codes for specific amino acid and is called a codon. During translation, the codons will code for a specific amino acid, forming a primary amino acid sequence.

Explanation of Solution

The repeating units of RNA polymer will be UAUCUAUCUAUCUAUC…. Each codon is a triplet of the nucleotide sequence. So, the codons formed will be UAU, CUA, UCU, and AUC. The amino acids that these codons will code for are: tyrosine, leucine, serine, and isoleucine, respectively. Hence, the sequence will code for four amino acids.

Option d is given as “four.”

If the genetic code uses triplets, then the number of amino acid, which is coded by a repeated RNA polymer composed of UA and UC, will be four. Hence, the correct answer is option d.

Reasons for incorrect answer:

Option a. is given as “one.”

In order to code for only one amino acid, the four triplets should have had the code for the same amino acid. However, the repeating units of UA and UC form four distinct codons that code for four different amino acids. Hence, option a.  is incorrect.

Option b...

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