Operational RNA-code

Two genetic codes are required for proteosynthesis (deDuve 1988): the universal genetic code, which determines the key according to which the sequence of triplets in mRNA will be translated into an aminoacid sequence in the protein, and the operational RNA-code, which determines which aminoacid will be “charged” by a particular tRNA. While the universal genetic code is so regular that it tends to recall the more perfect Morse code alphabet, the operational genetic code is apparently far less regular and also less “universal”, especially in the structure according to which the enzymes of the aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetase  differentiates the individual tRNA (Schimmel 1989; de Pouplana & Schimmel 2001) (Fig. X.7). From this point of view, this code recalls any other product of biological evolution. As a greater problem is presented by the evolution and development of the universal genetic code than the evolution and development of the operational genetic code, we will further consider only the evolution of the universal code (in the spirit of the “best” traditions of evolutionary biology).

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The classical Darwinian theory of evolution can explain the evolution of adaptive traits only in asexual organisms. The frozen plasticity theory is much more general: It can also explain the origin and evolution of adaptive traits in both asexual and sexual organisms Read more