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Required Levels of Catalysis for Emergence of Autocatalytic Sets in Models of Chemical Reaction Systems
Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Tampere University of Technology, Finland
University of Vermont, 85 South Prospect Street Burlington, VT 05405, USA
Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Road Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 February 2011; in revised form: 18 April 2011 / Accepted: 5 May 2011 / Published: 12 May 2011
Abstract: The formation of a self-sustaining autocatalytic chemical network is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the origin of life. The question of whether such a network could form “by chance” within a sufficiently complex suite of molecules and reactions is one that we have investigated for a simple chemical reaction model based on polymer ligation and cleavage. In this paper, we extend this work in several further directions. In particular, we investigate in more detail the levels of catalysis required for a self-sustaining autocatalytic network to form. We study the size of chemical networks within which we might expect to find such an autocatalytic subset, and we extend the theoretical and computational analyses to models in which catalysis requires template matching.
Keywords: autocatalytic sets; chemical reaction networks; template-based catalysis; origin of life
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Hordijk, W.; Kauffman, S.A.; Steel, M. Required Levels of Catalysis for Emergence of Autocatalytic Sets in Models of Chemical Reaction Systems. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 3085-3101.
Hordijk W, Kauffman SA, Steel M. Required Levels of Catalysis for Emergence of Autocatalytic Sets in Models of Chemical Reaction Systems. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2011; 12(5):3085-3101.
Hordijk, Wim; Kauffman, Stuart A.; Steel, Mike. 2011. "Required Levels of Catalysis for Emergence of Autocatalytic Sets in Models of Chemical Reaction Systems." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 12, no. 5: 3085-3101.