Article

Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 501-514

Graded Autocatalysis Replication Domain (GARD): Kinetic Analysis of Self-Replication in Mutually Catalytic Sets

  • Daniel SegréAffiliated withDepartment of Membrane Research and Biophysics, The Weizmann Institute of Science
  • , Doron Lancet*Affiliated withDepartment of Membrane Research and Biophysics, The Weizmann Institute of Science
  • , Ora KedemAffiliated withDepartment of Membrane Research and Biophysics, The Weizmann Institute of Science
  • , Yitzhak PilpelAffiliated withDepartment of Membrane Research and Biophysics, The Weizmann Institute of Science

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Abstract

A Graded Autocatalysis Replication Domain (GARD) model is proposed, which provides a rigorous kinetic analysis of simple chemical sets that manifest mutual catalysis. It is shown that catalytic closure can sustain self-replication up to a critical dilution rate, λc, related to the graded extent of mutual catalysis. We explore the behavior of vesicles containing GARD species whose mutual catalysis is governed by a previously published statistical distribution. In the population thus generated, some GARD vesicles display a significantly higher replication efficiency than most others. GARD thus represents a simple model for primordial chemical selection of mutually catalytic sets.