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George Gamow proposed that the genetic code should be made up of three nucleotides in order to code for 5 amino acids. Considering there are four bases, how many possible codons would be generated using this three-nucleotide code?

Option: 1

64 codons

Option: 2

 27 codons

Option: 3

81 codons


Option: 4

125 codons

Answers (1)


According to the given information, George Gamow suggested that the genetic code should be composed of three nucleotides to code for 5 amino acids. Since there are four bases (A, C, G, and T), we need to calculate the number of possible codons that can be formed using three nucleotides.

The number of possible codons can be determined by calculating the total number of combinations using the four bases raised to the power of three (4 × 4 × 4).

Calculating this expression:  4 × 4 × 4 = 64

Therefore, using a three-nucleotide code, 64 codons would be generated.

However, since we only need to code for 5 amino acids, the actual number of codons required would be less than the maximum number of codons that can be generated.

Therefore, the correct answer is: 1) 64 codons

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