Selection of self-priming molecular replicators

Daechan Park, Andrew D. Ellington, Cheulhee Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Self-priming amplification of oligonucleotides is possible based on foldback of 3 ends, self-priming, and concatemerization, especially in the presence of phosphorothioate linkages. Such a simple replicative mechanism may have led to the accumulation of specific replicators at or near the origin of life. To determine how early replicators may have competed with one another, we have carried out selections with phosphorothiolated hairpins appended to a short random sequence library (N10). Upon the addition of deoxynucleoside triphosphates and a polymerase, concatemers quickly formed, and those random sequences that templated the insertion of purines, especially during initiation, quickly predominated. Over several serial transfers, particular sequences accumulated, and in isolation these were shown to out-compete less efficient replicators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2169-2176
Number of pages8
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 18

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ajou University; National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) [2018R1C1B6001112]; Welch Foundation [F-1654]; John Templeton Foundation [54466]. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation. Funding for open access charge: NRF [2018R1C1B6001112].

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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