ID #1193

What is the wobble phenomenon?

Nothing you need to concern yourself with in this course. But in case you're curious... As it turns out, the codon-anticodon pairing only has to be exact for the first two bases of the codon. There is a "relaxed" set of base pairing rules at the third codon position, allowing a smaller number of tRNA molecules to recoginze multiple codons. This is called the Wobble Hypothesis, and it was proposed by Francis Crick in 1966. So the actual number of unique tRNA molecules varies by organism. Bacteria like E. coli can get by with as few as 31 different tRNA molecules, while humans for example have 48. But in any organism, there's no need to have 61 different tRNA molecules because of wobble.

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