What is Open Reading Frame (ORF) ?

The region of the nucleotide sequences from the start codon (ATG) to the stop codon is called the Open Reading frame. 

Gene finding in organism specially prokaryotes starts form searching for an open reading frames (ORF). An ORF is a sequence of DNA that starts with start codon “ATG” (not always) and ends with any of the three termination codons (TAA, TAG, TGA). Depending on the starting point, there are six possible ways (three on forward strand and three on complementary strand) of translating any nucleotide sequence into amino acid sequence according to the genetic code .These are called reading frames.

While eukaryotic gene finding is altogether a different task as the eukaryotic genes are not continuous and interrupted by intervening noncoding sequences called ‘introns’. Moreover organization of genetic information in eukaryotes and prokaryotes is different


Central Dogma of Biology

What is Coding Sequence(CDS)? How is it different from the ORF?

The Coding Sequence (CDS) is the actual region of DNA that is translated to form proteins. While the ORF may contain introns as well, the CDS refers to those nucleotides(concatenated exons) that can be divided into codons which are actually translated into amino acids by the ribosomal translation machinery. In Prokaryotes the ORF and the CDS are the same.