Ligation of random oligomers leads to emergence of autocatalytic sequence network [article]

Patrick W Kudella, Alexei V Tkachenko, Sergei Maslov, Dieter Braun
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
The emergence of longer information-carrying and functional nucleotide polymers from random short strands was a major stepping stone at the dawn of life. But the formation of those polymers under temperature oscillation required some form of selection. A plausible mechanism is template-based ligation where theoretical work already suggested a reduction in information entropy. Here, we show how nontrivial sequence patterns emerge in a system of random 12mer DNA sequences subject to enzyme-based
more » ... emplated ligation reaction and temperature cycling. The strands acted both as a template and substrates of the reaction and thereby formed longer oligomers. The selection for templating sequences leads to the development of a multiscale ligation landscape. A position-dependent sequence pattern emerged with a segregation into mutually complementary pools of A-rich and T-rich sequences. Even without selection for function, the base pairing of DNA with ligation showed a dynamics resembling Darwinian evolution.
doi:10.1101/2020.08.18.253963 fatcat:zb7zqaydxnhj5c524qmigzjl7y