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Nat Rev Genet. 2001 Jan;2(1):49-58.

Rewiring the keyboard: evolvability of the genetic code.

Author information

  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA. rdknight@princeton.edu

Abstract

The genetic code evolved in two distinct phases. First, the 'canonical' code emerged before the last universal ancestor; subsequently, this code diverged in numerous nuclear and organelle lineages. Here, we examine the distribution and causes of these secondary deviations from the canonical genetic code. The majority of non-standard codes arise from alterations in the tRNA, with most occurring by post-transcriptional modifications, such as base modification or RNA editing, rather than by substitutions within tRNA anticodons.

PMID:
11253070
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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