Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

A Comparison Among the Models Proposed to Explain the Origin of the tRNA Molecule: A Synthesis

  • Massimo Di Giulio


A comparison is made among all the models proposed to explain the origin of the tRNA molecule. The conclusion reached is that, for the model predicting that the tRNA molecule originated after the assembly of two hairpin-like structures, molecular fossils have been found in the half-genes of the tRNAs of Nanoarchaeum equitans. These might be the witnesses of the transition stage predicted by the model through which the evolution of the tRNA molecule passed, thus providing considerable corroboration for this model.


Corroboration/falsification of theories Transition stages Molecular fossils of genes Ancestral stages Missing link Hairpin structure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Molecular EvolutionInstitute of Genetics and BiophysicsNaplesItaly

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