A statistical test of hypotheses on the organization and origin of the genetic code

Eörs Szathmáry, Elias Zintzaras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


Theories of the origin of the genetic code assign different weights to amino acid properties such as polarity and precursor-product relationship. Previous statistical work on the origin of the genetic code has produced controversial results. We analyze relationships between various amino acid and tRNA properties by one and the same statistical method. It is shown that polarities as well as precursor-product relationships are both likely to have been important in shaping the genetic code, together with codon swapping that left protein sequences intact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-189
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1992



  • Codon capture
  • Codon swapping
  • Coevolution theory
  • Error minimization
  • Genetic code
  • Mantel test
  • Optimal codes
  • Origin of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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