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Survival of Self-Replicating Molecules under Transient Compartmentalization with Natural Selection

UMR CNRS Gulliver 7083, ESPCI, 10 rue Vauquelin, CEDEX 05, 75231 Paris, France
Santa Marinella Research Institute, 00052 Santa Marinella, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 August 2019 / Revised: 23 September 2019 / Accepted: 27 September 2019 / Published: 3 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Origin of Life)
The problem of the emergence and survival of self-replicating molecules in origin-of-life scenarios is plagued by the error catastrophe, which is usually escaped by considering effects of compartmentalization, as in the stochastic corrector model. By addressing the problem in a simple system composed of a self-replicating molecule (a replicase) and a parasite molecule that needs the replicase for copying itself, we show that transient (rather than permanent) compartmentalization is sufficient to the task. We also exhibit a regime in which the concentrations of the two kinds of molecules undergo sustained oscillations. Our model should be relevant not only for origin-of-life scenarios but also for describing directed evolution experiments, which increasingly rely on transient compartmentalization with pooling and natural selection. View Full-Text
Keywords: origin of life; error catastrophe; parasites origin of life; error catastrophe; parasites
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Laurent, G.; Peliti, L.; Lacoste, D. Survival of Self-Replicating Molecules under Transient Compartmentalization with Natural Selection. Life 2019, 9, 78.

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