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virtual circular genome model 08-21-20.pdf (819.62 kB)
The Virtual Circular Genome Model for Primordial RNA Replication
Preprints are manuscripts made publicly available before they have been submitted for formal peer review and publication. They might contain new research findings or data. Preprints can be a draft or final version of an author's research but must not have been accepted for publication at the time of submission.
submitted on 23.08.2020 and posted on 25.08.2020by Lijun Zhou, Dian Ding, Jack Szostak
Our manuscript describes a hypothesis for the replication of primordial RNA genomes by entirely nonenzymatic processes. Our proposal circumvents long standing problems such as the difficulty of copying long templates by nonenzymatic chemistry, the need for defined primers, and the so-called ‘last base addition problem’. Our hypothesis leads to surprising predictions, notably that the replication of an ensemble of oligonucleotides could be mediated by the template-directed extension of all oligos by as little as one nucleotide, on average. We propose experimental tests of our model, and discuss its implications for the origin of life.