Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 479–493 | Cite as

Toward Homochiral Protocells in Noncatalytic Peptide Systems

  • Marcelo GleiserEmail author
  • Sara Imari Walker


The activation-polymerization-epimerization-depolymerization (APED) model of Plasson et al. has recently been proposed as a mechanism for the evolution of homochirality on prebiotic Earth. The dynamics of the APED model in two-dimensional spatially-extended systems is investigated for various realistic reaction parameters. It is found that the APED system allows for the formation of isolated homochiral proto-domains surrounded by a racemate. A diffusive slowdown of the APED network induced, for example, through tidal motion or evaporating pools and lagoons leads to the stabilization of homochiral bounded structures as expected in the first self-assembled protocells.


Homochirality Prebiotic chemistry Abiogenesis Protometabolism Proto-cells 



This work was supported in part by a National Science Foundation Grant PHY-0757124. We thank R. Plasson and Axel Brandenburg for many interesting suggestions and comments. SW thanks NORDITA in Stockholm for their kind hospitality during the initial stages of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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