Competition and cooperation in catalytic selfreplication

  title={Competition and cooperation in catalytic selfreplication},
  author={Josef Hofbauer and Peter Schuster and Karl Sigmund},
  journal={Journal of Mathematical Biology},
It is shown that in a flow reactor, hypercyclic coupling of self-reproducing macromolecular species leads to cooperation, i.e. none of the concentrations will vanish. On the other hand, autocatalytic selfreproducing macromolecules usually compete, and the number of surving species increases with the total concentration. Both results are proved under very general assumptions concerning the growth rates. 

Evolution in Systems of Ligation-Based Replicators

It is found that strong selection can take place in systems of this type, even when there is slow uncatalysed synthesis of replicators, and that this threshold depends on the total concentration of all species in the system.


The most important properties of hypercycles are autocatalytic growth competition between cycles, once-for-ever selective behaviour, utilization of small selective advantage, rapid evolvability, increased information capacity, and selection against parasitic branches.

The probability of permanence.

Stages of emerging life —Five principles of early organization

SummaryFive principles underly the evolution of the genetic language: formation of stereoregular heteropolymers, selection through self-replication, evolution of quasispecies towards optimal

Dynamics of autocatalytic replicator networks based on higher-order ligation reactions

A class of autocatalytic reaction networks based on template-dependent ligation and higher-order catalysis is analysed and it is shown that in an intermediate parameter range, a behavior that is reminiscent of ’survival of the fittest’ is observed.

Self-Organization of Macromolecules

Today there is enormous structural variability of biopolymers and polynucleotide synthesis can occur on several different levels of increasing efficiency (faster rates); systems for these syntheses are complex; models of them have ten-dimensional kinetic equation systems, even in fitting data from simple experiments.

Competition and cooperation of biological macromolecules-an experimentally testable model of Darwinian evolution

  • P. Schuster
  • Environmental Science
    Advances in Applied Probability
  • 1982
5. Successional increase in structural complexity of ecosystems (Margalef (1974)) is either alternatively or simultaneously accompanied by self-simplification (in the sense of Pattee (1973)). Only ~~

Mutation in autocatalytic reaction networks

A class of kinetic equations describing catalysed and template induced replication, and mutation is introduced. This ODE in its most general form is split into two vector fields, a replication and a

Autocatalytic Networks: An Intimate Relation between Network Topology and Dynamics

It is shown that the network topology of catalytic influences in a hyperchain is intimately related to the dynamical properties of the mass action system it generates, including existence, uniqueness and stability of a positive equilibrium as well as permanence.



Elementary step dynamics of catalytic hypercycles.

Competitive coexistence of self-reproducing macromolecules.

  • I. Epstein
  • Chemistry
    Journal of theoretical biology
  • 1979

On the theory of selection of coupled macromolecular systems

The hypercycle. A principle of natural self-organization. Part A: Emergence of the hypercycle.

An analysis of experimental data regarding RNA and D N A replication reveals that a sufficient amount of information for the build up of a translation machinery can be gained only via integration of several different replicative units (or reproductive cycles) throughfimctional linkages.

Evidence for de novo production of self-replicating and environmentally adapted RNA structures by bacteriophage Qbeta replicase.

  • M. SumperR. Luce
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1975
There is strong evidence that high purified coliphage Qbeta replicase when incubated without added template synthesizes self-replicating RNA species in an autocatalytic reaction, and RNA species obtained under optimal incubation conditions show very similar fingerprint patterns, suggesting the operation of an instruction mechanism.