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Bioessays. 2006 Feb;28(2):105-8.

Getting from an RNA world to modern cells just got a little easier.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology and Functional Genomics, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden. anthony.poole@molbio.su.se

Abstract

Our understanding of the early steps in the evolution of life is hampered by a Catch-22: Darwinian selection leading to longer genomes requires as prerequisite increased replicative fidelity. Yet a genome at capacity cannot increase in size; it will be catastrophically mutated out of existence if fidelity has not already increased. Traditionally the problem has been considered for genotypes but can be down-sized if multiple genotypes specify the same phenotype. Kun and colleagues put empirical meat on theoretical bone by analysing ribozyme mutagenesis data, concluding that modest replication fidelities could permit a primordial genome with up to 100 genes.

PMID:
16435297
DOI:
10.1002/bies.20367
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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