Volume 78 (2003) Issue 5 Pages 343-352
Codon usage in nuclear genes of four monocot and three dicot species was analyzed to find general patterns in codon choice of plant species. Codon bias was correlated with GC content at the third codon position. GC contents were higher in monocot species than in dicot species at all codon positions. The high GC contents of monocot species might be the result of relatively strong mutational bias that occurred in the lineage of the Poaceae species. In both dicot and monocot species, the effective number of codons (ENCs) for most genes was similar to that for the expected ENCs based on the GC content at the third codon positions. G and C ending codons were detected as the "preferred" codons in monocot species, as in Drosophila. Also, many "preferred" codons are the same in dicot species. Pyrimidine (C and T) is used more frequently than purine (G and A) in four-fold degenerate codon groups.