Otimização no código genético robusto em relação aos conjuntos de códigos de comparação: mero acaso, fortuita necessidade ou design inteligente?

quarta-feira, setembro 11, 2019


Volume 185, November 2019, 104023
Optimality in the standard genetic code is robust with respect to comparison code sets
Received 15 May 2019, Revised 22 August 2019, Accepted 24 August 2019, Available online 11 September 2019.


The genetic code and its evolution have been studied by many different approaches. One approach is to compare the properties of the standard genetic code (SGC) to theoretical alternative codes in order to determine how optimal it is and from this infer whether or not it is likely that it has undergone a selective evolutionary process. Many different properties have been studied in this way in the literature. Less focus has been put on the alternative code sets which are used as a comparison to the standard code. Each implicitly represents an evolutionary hypothesis and the sets used differ greatly across the literature. Here we determine the influence of the comparison set on the results of the optimality calculation by using codes based upon different sub-structures of the SGC. With these results we can generalize the results to different evolutionary hypotheses. We find that the SGC's optimality is very robust, as no code set with no optimised properties is found. We therefore conclude that the optimality of the SGC is a robust feature across all evolutionary hypotheses. Our results provide important information for any future studies on the evolution of the standard genetic code. We also studied properties of the SGC concerning overlapping genes, which have recently been found to be more widespread than often believed. Although our results are not conclusive yet we find additional intriguing structures in the SGC that need explanation.

Keywords Genetics Genetic code Evolutionary genetics