from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A section of DNA that contains the genetic code for a single polypeptide and functions as a hereditary unit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Sometimes used interchangeably with the word gene, a cistron is the unit of hereditary material (e.g. DNA) that encodes one protein.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (genetics) a segment of DNA that is involved in producing a polypeptide chain; it can include regions preceding and following the coding DNA as well as introns between the exons; it is considered a unit of heredity


From cis-trans test, a genetic test (cis- + trans-) + -on1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • They explicitely explain that streptomycin resistance is the result of the organisms singular rRNA cistron, which renders them with one reversible mutation from almost completely resistant/non-resistant.

    Browsing the Latest Issue of Scientific American

  • This idea is expressed by the classic slogan of Beadle: "one gene - one enzyme", or in the more sophisticated but cumbersome terminology of today: "one cistron - one polypeptide chain".

    Francis Crick - Nobel Lecture

  • As I was grappling with some of the more technical passages that contained words like allele, nucleotide, cistron, and mitosis,

    The Full Feed from

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