Nucleoside Synthesis under Potentially Prebiotic Conditions


IT is widely believed that the “prebiotic” formation of polynucleotides was a key step in the evolution of life. One of the least understood steps in this synthesis is the formation of nucleosides. Sugars, purines and pyrimidines can be made in relatively high yields from simple materials, and nucleosides can be converted to nucleotides under reasonably plausible “prebiotic” conditions1, but the yield of nucleosides reported in most prebiotic syntheses is poor. We have therefore investigated certain aspects of prebiotic nucleoside synthesis.


  1. 1

    Reviewed by Oro, J., in The Origins of Prebiological Systems (edit. by Fox, S. W.), 137 (Academic Press, New York, 1965).

  2. 2

    Carbon, J. A., J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 86, 720 (1964).

  3. 3

    Ponnanperuma, C., and Kirk, J., Nature, 203, 400 (1964).

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REID, C., ORGEL, L. & PONNAMPERUMA, C. Nucleoside Synthesis under Potentially Prebiotic Conditions. Nature 216, 936 (1967).

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