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An Alternative Look at Code Evolution: Using Non-canonical Codes to Evaluate Adaptive and Historic Models for the Origin of the Genetic Code.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23344715     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The canonical code has been shown many times to be highly robust against point mutations; that is, mutations that change a single nucleotide tend to result in similar amino acids more often than expected by chance. There are two major types of models for the origin of the code, which explain how this sophisticated structure evolved. Adaptive models state that the primitive code was specifically selected for error minimization, while historic models hypothesize that the robustness of the code is an artifact or by-product of the mechanism of code evolution. In this paper, we evaluated the levels of robustness in existing non-canonical codes as well as codes that differ in only one codon assignment from the standard code. We found that the level of robustness of many of these codes is comparable or better than that of the standard code. Although these results do not preclude an adaptive origin of the genetic code, they suggest that the code was not selected for minimizing the effects of point mutations.
David W Morgens; Andre R O Cavalcanti
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-1-24
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of molecular evolution     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1432-1432     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Mol. Evol.     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-1-24     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0360051     Medline TA:  J Mol Evol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Biology, Pomona College, 175 W 6th Street, Claremont, CA, USA.
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