The emergence of a primitive genetic code should be considered the most essential event during the origin of life. Almost a complete set of codons (as we know them) should have been established relatively early during the evolution of the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) from which all known organisms descended. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the driving forces and chronology of the evolution of the genetic code; however, none is commonly accepted. In the current paper, we explore the features of the genetic code that, in our view, reflect the mechanism and the chronological order of the origin of the genetic code. Our hypothesis postulates that the primordial RNA was mostly GC-rich, and this bias was reflected in the order of amino acid codon assignment. If we arrange the codons and their corresponding amino acids from GC-rich to AU-rich, we find that: 1. The amino acids encoded by GC-rich codons (Ala, Gly, Arg, and Pro) are those that contribute the most to the interactions with RNA (if incorporated into short peptides). 2. This order correlates with the addition of novel functions necessary for the evolution from simple to longer folded peptides. 3. The overlay of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS) to the amino acid order produces a distinctive zonal distribution for class I and class II suggesting an interdependent origin. These correlations could be explained by the active role of the bridge peptide (BP), which we proposed earlier in the evolution of the genetic code.
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