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Speculations on the evolution of the genetic code part 2


, : Speculations on the evolution of the genetic code part 2. Origins of Life 9(2): 133-136

An evolutionary scheme is postulated in which a primitive code, involving only guanine and cytosine, would code for glycine (GG), alanine (GC), arginine (CG) and proline (CC). From each of these amino acids and their codons, there evolves a family of related amino acids as the code expands. The 4 familes are: alanine valine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, methionine and tryptophan; proline, threonine and serine; arginine, lysine and histidine; and glycine, serine, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, aspartic acid and asparagine. Except for the glycine relation to glutamic acid and aspartic acid, all amino acids are related by chemical similarities in their side chains. Glycine not having a side chain would permit a more complex set of substitutions.

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