A functional unit consisting of a promoter, an operator and a number of structural
, found mainly in prokaryotes. The structural genes commonly code for several functionally
, and although they are transcribed as one (polycistronic) mRNA
each is independently translated. In the typical operon, the operator region acts
as a controlling element in switching on or off the synthesis of mRNA.
PAC, 1992, 64, 143
(Glossary for chemists of terms used in biotechnology (IUPAC Recommendations 1992))
on page 162