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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1999 Dec;9(6):672-7.

The nature of the last universal common ancestor.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular BioSciences, Massey University, PO Box 11 222, New Zealand. D.Penny@massey.ac.nz


Cytologically, prokaryotes appear simpler and thus evolutionarily 'older' than eukaryotes. In terms of RNA processing, however, prokaryotes are sophisticated and eukaryotes, which retain many features of an RNA-world, appear primitive. The last universal common ancestor may have been mesophilic and could have had many features of the eukaryote genome, but its cytology is unknown.

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