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Reciprocal nucleopeptides as the ancestral Darwinian self-replicator.

Banwell, Eleanor F. and Piette, Bernard M. A. G. and Taormina, Anne and Heddle, Jonathan G. (2018) 'Reciprocal nucleopeptides as the ancestral Darwinian self-replicator.', Molecular biology and evolution., 35 (2). pp. 404-416.

Abstract

Even the simplest organisms are too complex to have spontaneously arisen fully-formed, yet precursors to first life must have emerged ab initio from their environment. A watershed event was the appearance of the first entity capable of evolution: the Initial Darwinian Ancestor. Here we suggest that nucleopeptide reciprocal replicators could have carried out this important role and contend that this is the simplest way to explain extant replication systems in a mathematically consistent way. We propose short nucleic- acid templates on which amino-acylated adapters assembled. Spatial localization drives peptide ligation from activated precursors to generate phosphodiester-bond-catalytic peptides. Comprising autocatalytic protein and nucleic acid sequences, this dynamical system links and unifies several previous hypotheses and provides a plausible model for the emergence of DNA and the operational code.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msx292
Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:01 November 2017
Date deposited:17 November 2017
Date of first online publication:08 November 2017
Date first made open access:No date available

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