FRANCIS LEROY & MATHILDE VANSPEYBROUCK, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY & MATHILDE VANSPEYBROUCK, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation showing an active tryptophan (trp) operon, the set of genes that code for the amino acid tryptophan in Escherichia coli bacteria. If the bacterium cannot source enough tryptophan from its environment it is able to synthesise it. RNA polymerase (blue oval) transcribes the operon's five genes (white, across top) to mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid, light blue), which will then be translated into proteins that synthesise tryptophan. A repressor (purple) for this process is also produced, but in the absence of tryptophan in the environment, remains in its inactive form.
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