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The degeneracy of amino acid coding is one of the most crucial and enigmatic aspects of the genetic code. Different theories about the origin of the genetic code have been developed. However, to date, there is no comprehensive hypothesis on the mechanism that might have generated the degeneracy as we observe it. Here, we provide a new theory that explains the origin of the degeneracy based only on symmetry principles. The approach allows one to describe exactly the degeneracy of the early code (progenitor of the genetic code of LUCA, the last universal common ancestor) which is hypothesized to have the same degeneracy as the present vertebrate mitochondrial genetic code. The theory is based upon the tessera code, that fits as the progenitor of the early code. Moreover, we describe in detail the possible evolutionary transitions implied by our theory. The approach is supported by a unified …
The Royal Society
Publication date: 
6 Dec 2019

DL Gonzalez, S Giannerini, R Rosa

Biblio References: 
Volume: 9 Issue: 6 Pages: 20190038
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