Stages of emerging life —Five principles of early organization

  title={Stages of emerging life —Five principles of early organization},
  author={Manfred Eigen and Peter Schuster},
  journal={Journal of Molecular Evolution},
SummaryFive principles underly the evolution of the genetic language: formation of stereoregular heteropolymers, selection through self-replication, evolution of quasispecies towards optimal structures, regulated cooperation between competitors through catalytic hypercycles and evaluation of translation products through compartmentalization. These principles are formulated and illustrated by means of experimental results 

“RNA World”, a highly improbable scenario of the origin and early evolution of life on earth

  • P. Bregestovski
  • Biology
    Journal of Evolutionary Biochemistry and Physiology
  • 2015
The analysis shows that the “RNA World” hypothesis suffers from a number of insurmountable problems of chemical and informational nature and is highly improbable.

Physicochemical Foundations of Life that Direct Evolution: Chance and Natural Selection are not Evolutionary Driving Forces

It is argued that based on a bottom-up approach starting from the physicochemical properties of nucleic and amino acid polymers, the facts that (i) natural selection plays a dominant role in evolution and (ii) the probability of mutations is independent of the generated phenotype are rejected.

On the applicability of Darwinian principles to chemical evolution that led to life

A gradual transition from a complex pre-life system to a mixture of complex chemical cycles that reproduce and secure energy is envisaged, which is called the transition zone and may or may not lead to life.

RNA based evolutionary optimization

  • P. Schuster
  • Biology
    Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere
  • 2005
The mapping from RNA sequences into secondary structures and the topology of RNA shape space are studied and ‘neutral paths’ connecting neighbouring sequences with identical structures go very frequently through entire sequence space, explaining the usage of four bases in the genetic language of nature.

Evolutionary Potential and Requirements for Minimal Protocells

Following chemoton theory, it is suggested that a minimal protocell satisfying all life criteria should consist of a metabolic network producing materials for the production of all three subsystems at the expense of the difference between food and waste products, a genetic subsystem based on template polymerization and a boundary subsystem consisting of a bilayer vesicle.

Early Replicons: Origin and Evolution

Evolutionary dynamics of invasion and escape.

Two Approaches to the Study of the Origin of Life

This paper compares two approaches that attempt to explain the origin of life, or biogenesis. The more established approach is one based on chemical principles, whereas a new, yet not widely known

Life’s Order, Complexity, Organization, and Its Thermodynamic–Holistic Imperatives

Jeffrey S. Wicken was a fervent early protagonist of holistic ‘continuist’ views and agenda, who in the 1970/80s strived for a synthesis of biological and physical theories to fathom the tentative origins of life.

Crucial steps to life: From chemical reactions to code using agents




Competition and cooperation in catalytic selfreplication

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, and the number of surving species increases with the total concentration.

The evolving trna molecul

Assessment of available and missing data, existing and needed methodology, and the impact of tRNA studies on current theories both of genetic code evolution and of the evolution of species are assessed.

A speculation on the origin of protein synthesis

It is suggested that protein synthesis may have begun without even a primitive ribosome if the primitive tRNA could take up two configurations and could bind to the messenger RNA with five base-pairs

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.

Game dynamics in mendelian populations

A game theoretical model for the evolution of strategies in animal conflicts is considered, using methods from dynamical systems and population genetics. It is shown that the

Periodic correlations in DNA sequences and evidence suggesting their evolutionary origin in a comma-less genetic code

SummaryStrong rhythms with a period of three bases have been seen while correlating the relative positions of purines and pyrimidines and of the four individual bases in the complete DNA sequence of