, Volume 68, Issue 6, pp 282–292

Transfer-RNA, an early gene?

  • Manfred Eigen
  • Ruthild Winkler-Oswatitsch

DOI: 10.1007/BF01047470

Cite this article as:
Eigen, M. & Winkler-Oswatitsch, R. Naturwissenschaften (1981) 68: 282. doi:10.1007/BF01047470


The theory of self-reproductive molecular systems involves the consequence that translation must have started from a selected distribution of RNA molecules, that comprised GC-rich sequences of a length < 100 nucleotides. This implies a joint function of messenger and adaptor, which both had to be recruited from the same mutant distribution. The reconstruction of tRNA precursors yields such a molecule showing some reverberation of a codon pattern GNC. These findings suggest that tRNA has been the earliest component of the translation machinery.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred Eigen
    • 1
  • Ruthild Winkler-Oswatitsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische ChemieGöttingen

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