The hypothesis that DNA strands complementary to the coding strand contain in phase coding sequences has been investigated. Statistical analysis of the 50 genes of bacteriophage T7 shows no significant correlation between patterns of codon usage on the coding and non-coding strands. In Bacillus and yeast genes the correlation observed is not different from that expected with random synonymous codon usage, while a high correlation seen in 52 E.coli genes can be explained in terms of an excess of RNY codons. A deficiency of UUA, CUA and UCA codons (complementary to termination) seems to be restricted to the E.coli genes, and may be due to low abundance of the relevant cognate tRNA species. Thus the analysis shows that the non-coding strand has the properties expected of a sequence complementary to a coding strand, with no indications that it encodes, or may have encoded, proteins.