All earthly creatures use only L-amino acids in template directed protein synthesis. The reason for this exclusive use of the L-isomer is not yet apparent, although recent experiments by Usher and his colleagues have shown some stereoselctivity in the aminoacylation of di- and polynucleotides [1-3]. We have separately reported on intramolecular interactions between hydrophobic amino acid side chains and the adenine ring in aminoacyl adenylates . There was a preferential association of Phe > Leu = Ile > Val with the adenine in these studies, but we made no attempts to address the question of D, L selectivity. Recently, in1H NMR studies of N-acetylphenylalanyl adenylate anhydride, we noticed evidence that both D- and L-isomers of the amino acid were present and, furthermore, that one isomer seemed to be associating with the adenine ring more strongly than the other. Using HPLC, we have separated the two diastereoisomers and have enzymatically determined that the isomer which associates more strongly is the biologically important one, the L-isomer. We present those studies here and discuss the evolutionary significance of this finding. © 1985 D. Reidel Publishing Company.