From what I understand, the term operon is loosely defined to be a collection of genes that are found to be in the same proximity in a genome.
Some definitions enforce that an operon is only regulated by a single promoter and all of the genes are transcribed together.
If the above definition is strict, that would imply a couple of things
- Genes are opposite strands cannot be in the same operon (since they cannot be transcribed together)
- Overlapping genes cannot be in the same operon for the same reason.
I realize that part of the issue with these definitions stems from an ongoing investigation behind this phenomenon. But are there strict standards surrounding the definition an operon? What is the minimal definition of an operon?