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A complete overview of present pondering at the biosynthesis, functionality and evolution of secondary metabolites in animals, crops and microorganisms. Examines the conventional context of secondary metabolites as usual items having no visible half to play within the generating organism's existence cycle. Covers concerns regarding genetic and antibiotic functions.

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Analyses of these mixtures tend to emphasize the presence of the protein amino acids or nucleic acid bases, ignoring the large number of other organic molecules present. Such studies have, we believe, underestimated the potential roles of other biologically active molecules which were likely to have been present in great variety, and even quantity, during biochemical evolution. ) during late phases of the growth of the producing organism. Speculation on possible biological roles of secondary metabolites has been 24 Evolution of secondary metabolite production 25 rife (see Introduction, p I), but only in a few cases have plausible functions been identified.

If in turn you take many different ligands, and find binding of one or the other to the same RNA molecule, then this is just a random effect, rather than that the self-splicing RNA molecules are somehow primordial aminoglycosidebinding ribozymes which have a specific similar function. Also, if you pick out RNA molecules of similar tertiary structure, would you say that these could all have a similar ribozyme or other catalytic function? Davies: Not necessarily. I think a very specific structure is needed.

BDetected in electric discharge reactions or in meteorites. 1. ‘Primordial soup’ components, or organic molecules from extraterrestrial objects, contain amino acids that could form simple oligopeptides by random chemical condensations. 2. RNA is produced, and an early form of ribozyme provides the catalytic function necessary for more effective peptide bond formation. 3. Low molecular mass components of the ‘primordial soup’, or their condensation products, bind to RNA and promote conformational changes that reduce activation energy or increase the specificity of peptide bond formation.

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