Volume 77, Number 1, January 2007
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||29 December 2006|
From chemical reactions to evolution: Emergence of species
Département de Mathématique, Université Notre Dame de la Paix - 8 Rempart de la Vierge, B-5000 Namur, Belgium
2 Dipartimento di Energetica “S. Stecco”, Università di Firenze - via S. Marta 3, I-50139 Firenze, Italy
3 INFN Sezione di Firenze - Firenze, Italy
4 Cell and Molecular Biology Department, Karolinska Institute - SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden
Accepted: 9 November 2006
The Chemoton model constitutes a minimalistic description of a protocell unit. The original formulation assumes three coupled chemical networks, representing a proto-metabolism, a template duplication and the membrane growth. An improved version is here proposed that explicitly incorporates the effects of the volume changes, due to the membrane growth. A stochastic mechanism is also introduced that mimics a stochastic source of error in the template duplication process. Numerical simulations are performed to monitor the time evolution of a family of protocells, under the chemoton hypothesis. An open-ended Darwinian evolution under the pressure of the environment is reproduced thus allowing to conclude that differentiation into species is an emergent property of the model.
PACS: 87.23.Kg – Dynamics of evolution / 87.17.Aa – Theory and modeling; computer simulation / 82.20.-w – Chemical kinetics and dynamics
© Europhysics Letters Association, 2007
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