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messenger RNA a single-stranded molecule of ribonucleic acid that carries a code from the DNA, where it is synthesized, to the cytoplasm, where it specifies the sequence of amino acids required for protein synthesis.
plasmid a DNA-containing, self-reproducing element in the cytoplasm of some bacteria which exists outside the chromosome, used in recombinant DNA technology because it can alter a hereditary characteristic when introduced into another bacterium.
plastid any of several small protoplasmic structures found in the cytoplasm of some plant cells, in which substances such as starch, protein, and pigment are stored.
ribosome any of various small particles in the cytoplasm of a cell that contain RNA and are active in protein synthesis.
RNA any of several single-stranded nucleic acids containing the sugar ribose that occur in the cytoplasm of all living cells and are essential in protein synthesis; ribonucleic acid.