Kathryn D.

asked • 12/04/12

DNA to mRNA for three diferent strands of DNA, given "5-AGT-3"

My Study Group can't figure out this problem:

"A triplet of bases in the Template Strand of DNA = 5'-AGT-3', The corresponding codon found in the mRNA would be..."

but then they ask the same question for the Non-Coding and Coding strands of DNA for the same "DNA = 5'-AGT-3'". Can you please explain what is different, why they are different, and what the three answers are?

3 Answers By Expert Tutors


Jody P. answered • 01/26/22

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Experienced high school tutor specializing in AP Biology

Michael M. answered • 12/04/12

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Emma D.

Hi Kathryn, 

Here is how mRNA is created: coding DNA gets transcribed to template DNA, then template DNA gets transcribed to mRNA.  

It is important to remember that 5' ends get "transcribed" to 3' ends.  So the template DNA 5'AGT3' is transcribed to the mRNA 3'UCA5'.  But since it is customary to write codons from 5'-end to 3'-end, the mRNA codon is actually ACU.

coding DNA:      5' ACT 3'

template DNA:   3' TGA 5'

mRNA:              5' ACU 3'

Hope this helps!



Michael M.

Whoops, thinking fail, this is what I get for doing these in the wee hours, Emma is quite right.



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