Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Biology: how the wobble effect explains the degeneracy of the genetic code

  1. Sep 5, 2008 #1
    Here's a conceptual question:

    The wobble effect says that 1 tRNA can be used for more than 1 anticodon, as the nucleotide near the 5' position of the anticodon does not need to follow strict base pairing rules.

    The degeneracy of the genetic code refers to the fact that more than 1 codon can code for an amino acid.

    I learned in class that the wobble effect explains why we have the degeneracy of the genetic code, but I can't understand why the 2 concepts are linked. I'm missing the big picture, could someone help me out and fill in the link?

    thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Perhaps what you're missing is how tRNA translates into amino acids?

    Try diagramming the whole process. If a tRNA doesn't follow strict base pairing rules, what happens to the protein formed as a result of that?
  4. Sep 5, 2008 #3
    It finally clicked:

    1 tRNA for each AA
    wobble effect in the 5' end of the anticodon means variable nucleotide in the 3' of the codon, meaning more than 1 codon for an AA

    thank you!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook