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Title:Information and the evolution of codon bias
Author(s):Wright, Daniel T.
Director of Research:Gasser, Les
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Gasser, Les
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Renear, Allen H.; Luthey-Schulten, Zaida A.; Efron, Miles J.
Department / Program:Library & Information Science
Discipline:Library & Information Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):information science
philosophy of information
evolution
genetic code
codon bias
biological information
Abstract:The informational properties of biological systems are the subject of much debate and research. I present a general argument in favor of the existence and central importance of information in organisms, followed by a case study of the genetic code (specifically, codon bias) and the translation system from the perspective of information. The codon biases of 831 Bacteria and Archeae are analyzed and modeled as points in a 64-dimensional statistical space. The major results are that (1) codon bias evolution does not follow canonical patterns, and (2) the use of coding space in organsims is a subset of the total possible coding space. These findings imply that codon bias is a unique adaptive mechanism that owes its existence to organisms' use of information in representing genes, and that there is a particularly biological character to the resulting biased coding and information use.
Issue Date:2011-08-25
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/26089
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 by Daniel T. Wright. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-08-25
Date Deposited:2011-08


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