GRADED AUTOCATALYSIS REPLICATION DOMAIN (GARD): KINETIC ANALYSIS OF SELF-REPLICATION IN MUTUALLY CATALYTIC SETS

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Abstract

A Graded Autocatalysis Replication Domain (GARD) model is proposed, which provides a rigorous kinetic analysis of simple chemical sets that manifest mutual catalysis. It is shown that catalytic closure can sustain self-replication up to a critical dilution rate, λc, related to the graded extent of mutual catalysis. We explore the behavior of vesicles containing GARD species whose mutual catalysis is governed by a previously published statistical distribution. In the population thus generated, some GARD vesicles display a significantly higher replication efficiency than most others. GARD thus represents a simple model for primordial chemical selection of mutually catalytic sets.

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