The emergence and dominance of parasitic replicators are among the major hurdles for the proliferation of primitive replicators. Compartmentalization of replicators is proposed to relieve the parasite dominance; however, it remains unclear under what conditions simple compartmentalization uncoupled with internal reaction secures the long-term survival of a population of primitive replicators against incessant parasite emergence. Here, we investigate the sustainability of a compartmentalized host-parasite replicator (CHPR) system undergoing periodic washout-mixing cycles, by constructing a mathematical model and performing extensive simulations. We describe sustainable landscapes of the CHPR system in the parameter space and elucidate the mechanism of phase transitions between sustainable and extinct regions. Our findings revealed that a large population size of compartments, a high mixing intensity, and a modest amount of nutrients are important factors for the robust survival of replicators. We also found two distinctive sustainable phases with different mixing intensities. These results suggest that a population of simple host–parasite replicators assumed before the origin of life can be sustained by a simple compartmentalization with periodic washout-mixing processes.
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