Irreversible Prebiotic Evolution in Hydrothermal Systems

  • Vladimir N. Kompanichenko


The author substantiates thermodynamically irreversible prebiotic evolution of organic matter in fluid migrating from the bowels of hydrothermal systems to the surface. This medium is characterized by the combination of two principal peculiarities: general tendency to temperature and pressure descent (1), and multilevel oscillations of temperature and pressure (2). These tendencies radically differs hydrothermal medium from alternative possible media for life origin: an ocean, lake, groundwater aquifer with stagnant regime, ice, and outer space. Migration of fluid from lowest part of the prebiotic zone (300–250 °C) into the transition to life zone (around 100 °C) proceeds in accordance with the general trend of organic substance complication: synthesis of molecules → polymerization of macromolecules → self-assembly of microsystems. Due to external oscillations, polymerization of organic macromolecules and transformation of assemblies many times proceed ahead and back, i.e., become reciprocal. Combination of oscillations and thermodynamic parameters descent sustains continuous and directed recombination of organic molecules and assemblies. The most probable prebiotic microsystems represented themselves as complex microstructures contained lipid amphiphilic molecules and fragments of self-assembled proteinoids, along with incorporated nucleotides under lower temperature conditions. Manifold oscillations in hydrothermal medium swung the balances between synthesis and decomposition, polycondensation and hydrolysis, self-assembly, and disintegration in bistate prebiotic microsystems that led to arising of self-maintained cyclic and autocatalytic processes. Regular transitions over the bifurcation point brought new and new changes into the bistate microsystems facilitating pathways diversification of their prebiotic evolution.


Origin of life Prebiotic chemistry Hydrothermal system Fluid Organic molecule Prebiotic microsystem Temperature gradient Oscillation Synthesis Decomposition Polymerization Self-assembly 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Complex Analysis of Regional Problems FEB RASBirobidzhanRussia

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