Selection for replicases in protocells.
e1003051 - ?
PLoS Comput Biol
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We consider a world of nucleotide sequences and protocells. The sequences have the property of spontaneous self-replication. Some sequences - so-called replicases - have enzymatic activity in the sense of enhancing the replication rate of all (or almost all) sequences. In a well-mixed medium, natural selection would not favor such replicases because their presence equally benefits sequences with or without replicase activity. Here we show that protocells can select for replicases. We assume that sequences replicate within protocells and that protocells undergo spontaneous division. This leads to particular population structures which can augment the abundance of replicases. We explore various assumptions regarding replicase activity and protocell division. We calculate the error threshold that is compatible with selecting for replicases.
AuthorsBianconi, G; Zhao, K; Chen, IA; Nowak, MA
- College Publications