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Codon EvolutionMechanisms and Models$
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Gina M. Cannarozzi and Adrian Schneider

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199601165

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199601165.001.0001

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Structural and molecular features of non-standard genetic codes

Structural and molecular features of non-standard genetic codes

(p.258) Chapter 17 Structural and molecular features of non-standard genetic codes
Codon Evolution

Maria do Céu Santos

Manuel A. S. Santos

Oxford University Press

Genetic code alterations and expansions are likely relevant evolutionary events for the organisms that host them. Their study provides important new insight into how the genetic code evolved from 1 to 22 amino acids and, therefore, has important implications to an understanding of the origin and early development of life. This chapter reviews natural non-standard genetic codes, with an emphasis on changes occurring in nuclear genomes. It addresses a particular question: how do organisms counteract the potentially negative effects brought about by non-neutral genetic code alterations? To answer this question, it discusses the study of the reassignment of UGA and UAG codons to selenocysteine and pyrrolysine, respectively, and the reassignment of leucine CUG codons to serine in several Candida species.

Keywords:   non-standard genetic codes, nuclear genomes, genetic code alterations, Candida species

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