Evolution of a population of protocells: Emergence of species

Timoteo Carletti, Duccio Fanelli

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    40 Downloads (Pure)


    The Gánti Chemoton represents a minimalist description of a protocell unit based on three coupled chemical networks, namely a proto'metabolism, a template duplication and the membrane growth. We here propose an improved version of Gánti's 'unit of life'where the effects of the volume changes, due to the membrane growth, are explicitly taken into account. The model is further completed by pos- tulating a stochastic mutation mechanism that acts on the template duplication. Within this framework we investigate the evolution of a population of protocells and demonstrate that our hypothesis translates into an open'ended Darwinian evolution, under the pressure of the environment. This observation enables us to conclude that the Chemoton is also a 'unit of evolution': differentiation into species is indeed an emergent property of the model.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProc. of the 2006 International Symposium on Mathematical and Computational Biology
    Subtitle of host publicationBIOMAT 2006
    EditorsRubem Mondaini, Rui Dilão
    Place of PublicationBrasil
    PublisherE-papers editora
    ISBN (Print)9788576501183
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Protocell
    • Chemoton model
    • Evolution
    • Speciation
    • Chaos

    Cite this