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Two different template replicators coexisting in the same protocell: Stochastic simulation of an extended chemoton model

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Abstract

The simulation of complex biochemical systems, consisting of intertwined subsystems, is a challenging task in computational biology. The complex biochemical organization of the cell is effectively modeled by the minimal cell model called chemoton, proposed by Gánti. Since the chemoton is a system consisting of a large but fixed number of interacting molecular species, it can effectively be implemented in a process algebra-based language such as the BlenX programming language. The stochastic model behaves comparably to previous continuous deterministic models of the chemoton. Additionally to the well-known chemoton, we also implemented an extended version with two competing template cycles. The new insight from our study is that the coupling of reactions in the chemoton ensures that these templates coexist providing an alternative solution to Eigen's paradox. Our technical innovation involves the introduction of a two-state switch to control cell growth and division, thus providing an example for hybrid methods in BlenX. Further developments to the BlenX language are suggested in the Appendix. © 2011 Zachar et al.

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Zachar, I., Fedor, A., & Szathmáry, E. (2011). Two different template replicators coexisting in the same protocell: Stochastic simulation of an extended chemoton model. PLoS ONE, 6(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021380

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