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Life 2013, 3(3), 403-420; doi:10.3390/life3030403

A Necessary Condition for Coexistence of Autocatalytic Replicators in a Prebiotic Environment

School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 April 2013 / Revised: 13 June 2013 / Accepted: 17 June 2013 / Published: 24 July 2013
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A necessary, but not sufficient, mathematical condition for the coexistence of short replicating species is presented here. The mathematical condition is obtained for a prebiotic environment, simulated as a fed-batch reactor, which combines monomer recycling, variable reaction order and a fixed monomer inlet flow with two replicator types and two monomer types. An extensive exploration of the parameter space in the model validates the robustness and efficiency of the mathematical condition, with nearly 1.7% of parameter sets meeting the condition and half of those exhibiting sustained coexistence. The results show that it is possible to generate a condition of coexistence, where two replicators sustain a linear growth simultaneously for a wide variety of chemistries, under an appropriate environment. The presence of multiple monomer types is critical to sustaining the coexistence of multiple replicator types.
Keywords: chemical evolution; coexistence; diversity; replicator; prebiotic chemical evolution; coexistence; diversity; replicator; prebiotic

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hernandez, A.F.; Grover, M.A. A Necessary Condition for Coexistence of Autocatalytic Replicators in a Prebiotic Environment. Life 2013, 3, 403-420.

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