Special Issue "Organic Chemical Evolution regarding the Origin(s) of Life"

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Origin of Life".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alexander Ruf
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Institute of Space Astrophysics, Aix-Marseille University, PIIM group/ASTRO, 13007 Marseille, France
2. Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, 80539 Munich, Germany
Interests: astrochemistry; astrobiology; analytical chemistry; computational chemistry; data analysis
Prof. Dr. Oliver Trapp
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department Chemie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Butenandtstr. 5-13, 81377 München, Germany
Interests: origin of homochirality; autocatalysis; self-amplification; molecular evolution
Dr. Louis B. Le Sergeant D'Hendecourt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Space Astrophysics, Aix-Marseille University, PIIM group/ASTRO, 13007 Marseille, France
Interests: astrochemistry; interstellar ices; organic materials; laboratory simulations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A great challenge in Origin(s) of Life research is to identify the transition between inanimate molecules and prebiotic/biotic material. With increasing technology, including space-based telescopes or laboratory instruments, the molecular complexity in space is steadily being unraveled in greater detail. However, a single molecule does not represent life (e.g., no storage of information or emergent functions), but understanding the molecule's evolution through space enables one to probe the emergence of prebiotic chemistry in principle.

This Special Issue is split into two parts:

 (i)   Astrochemistry       -->      "Organic Chemical Evolution"

 (ii)  Prebiotic Chemistry     -->     "Regarding the Origin(s) of Life"

We will address the evolution of organic molecules along the astronomical timeline, and we will discuss the processes from individual molecules to prebiotic functions. Thus, we have teamed up to combine expertise from Astrochemistry (Louis d'Hendecourt), Prebiotic Chemistry (Oliver Trapp) and respective state-of-the-art (data) analysis (Alexander Ruf).

With respect to Astrochemistry, we will address three topics: (i) Organic Chemistry in Our Galaxy (Molecular Clouds, Protoplanetary Disks); (ii) Organic Chemistry in Our Solar System (Mars, Asteroids/Meteorites, Titan, Comets); (iii) Organic Delivery to Early Earth.

The Prebiotic Chemistry Section will focus on the formation of the first molecules of life. The appearance of complexity and self-organization, the oligomerization of nucleotides, amino acids and sugars leading to functional polymers and building of potential metabolic networks will be addressed. An important aspect here is the fundamental understanding of processes leading to the formation of homochirality.

Chemical (data) analysis has become an increasingly important topic in Origin(s) of Life research, using more powerful instruments and data analytical methods. Here, we will address strategies that target both observational and laboratory data.

Research or review articles are encouraged for submission.

Dr. Alexander Ruf
Prof. Dr. Oliver Trapp
Dr. Louis B. Le Sergeant D'Hendecourt
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Life is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • astrochemistry
  • self-organization
  • prebiotic chemistry
  • data analysis
  • origin(s) of life

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Article
The Abiotic Formation of Pyrrole under Volcanic, Hydrothermal Conditions—An Initial Step towards Life’s First Breath?
Life 2021, 11(9), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11090980 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 540
Abstract
Porphyrins, corrins, and tetrapyrroles constitute macrocycles in essential biomolecules such as heme, chlorophyll, cobalamin, and cofactor F430. The chemical synthesis as well as the enzymatic synthesis of these macrocycles starts from pyrrole derivatives. We here show that pyrrole and dimethyl pyrrole can be [...] Read more.
Porphyrins, corrins, and tetrapyrroles constitute macrocycles in essential biomolecules such as heme, chlorophyll, cobalamin, and cofactor F430. The chemical synthesis as well as the enzymatic synthesis of these macrocycles starts from pyrrole derivatives. We here show that pyrrole and dimethyl pyrrole can be formed under the simulated volcanic, hydrothermal conditions of Early Earth, starting from acetylene, propyne, and ammonium salts in the presence of NiS or CoS as catalysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Chemical Evolution regarding the Origin(s) of Life)
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