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Definition of Selfish operon

Selfish operon: A hypothesis according to which the clustering of genes and their subsequent organization into operons is beneficial to the constituent genes because it enables the transfer of functionally coupled genes, genes involved in the same biosynthetic pathway.

The selfish operon hypothesis may or may not prove true in microbial genetics but it is surely not applicable to human genetics, since the human genome has no known operons.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=32916
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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