Phenotypic diversity and chaos in a minimal cell model

  • Munteanu A
  • Solé R
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Gánti's chemoton model (Gánti, T., 2002. On the early evolution of biological periodicity. Cell. Biol. Int. 26, 729) is considered as an iconic example of a minimal protocell including three key subsystems: membrane, metabolism and information. The three subsystems are connected through stoichiometrical coupling which ensures the existence of a replication cycle for the chemoton. Our detailed exploration of a version of this model indicates that it displays a wide range of complex dynamics, from regularity to chaos. Here, we report the presence of a very rich set of dynamical patterns potentially displayed by a protocell as described by this implementation of a chemoton-like model. The implications for early cellular evolution and synthesis of artificial cells are discussed. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cellular networks
  • Chaos
  • Chemoton
  • Origins of life
  • Protocell

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  • Andreea Munteanu

  • Ricard V. Solé

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