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Pseudogene rescue: an adaptive mechanism of codon reassignment

By Louise Janna Johnson

Abstract

Alterations to the genetic code – codon reassignments – have occurred many times in life’s history, despite the fact that genomes are coadapted to their genetic codes and therefore alterations are likely to be maladaptive. A\ud potential mechanism for adaptive codon reassignment, which could trigger either a temporary period of codon ambiguity or a permanent genetic code change, is the reactivation of a pseudogene by a nonsense suppressor mutant transfer RNA. I examine the population genetics of each stage of this process\ud and find that pseudogene rescue is plausible and also readily explains some\ud features of extant variability in genetic codes

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:centaur.reading.ac.uk:15926
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