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A sequence of nucleotides in a DNA molecule that has the potential to encode a peptide or protein: it starts with a start triplet (ATG), is followed by a string of triplets each of which encodes an amino acid, and ends with a stop triplet (TAA, TAG or TGA). This term is often used when, after the sequence of a DNA fragment has been determined, the function of the encoded protein is not known. The existence of open reading frames is usually inferred from the DNA (rather than the RNA) sequence.
Publication Source: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Publication Date: 1999
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