This article discusses the hypothesized composition and organization of cytoplasm in prebiotic cells from a theoretical perspective and also based upon what is currently known about bacterial cytoplasm. It is unknown if the first prebiotic, microscopic scale, cytoplasm was initially contained within a primitive, continuous, semipermeable membrane, or was an uncontained gel substance, that later became enclosed by a continuous membrane. Another possibility is that the first cytoplasm in prebiotic cells and a primitive membrane organized at the same time, permitting a rapid transition to the first cell(s) capable of growth and division, thus assisting with the emergence of life on Earth less than a billion years after the formation of the Earth. It is hypothesized that the organization and composition of cytoplasm progressed initially from an unstructured, microscopic hydrogel to a more complex cytoplasm, that may have been in the volume magnitude of about 0.1-0.2 μm 3 (possibly less if a nanocell) prior to the first cell division. © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Trevors, J. T. (2011, March). The composition and organization of cytoplasm in prebiotic cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms12031650