Oct 1, 1990
Theoretical Population Biology
Abstract It is useful to elaborate a unified approach to the development of the Theory of Molecular Evolution (TME). This paper sets forth a synthesis of concepts, data, methods, theoretical models, hypotheses, and interpretations in the TME field, assuming Molecular Genetic Regulatory Systems of cells (MGRS) as the basic concept of the theory. Three mutually complementary approaches have been used: structural-functional, informational-cybernetic, and evolutionary. Detailed features of our unified approach included the following: (1) linking prebiological and biological processes of molecular evolution through molecular systems of self-reproduction; (2) elaboration of a unified theory of micro- and macromolecular evolution; (3) use of data from molecular phytogeny, taxonomy, and paleontology; (4) combining structural-functional, informational-cybernetic, and evolutionary approaches; (5) related analyses of stochastic and deterministic processes and factors; (6) integrated exposition of the MGRS limiting factors and of the associated evolutionary devices which overcome them; (7) related analyses of molecular evolutionary, ecological, and environmental factors; (8) formulation of general principles of TME; (9) proposing a scenario of the major stages of molecular evolution. General processes of TME are (a) emergence of molecular genetic organization; (b) evolution of genes, RNAs, and proteins; (c) evolution of genomes and Subsystems of MGRS.