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Orig Life Evol Biosph. 1998 Oct;28(4-6):501-14.

Graded Autocatalysis Replication Domain (GARD): kinetic analysis of self-replication in mutually catalytic sets.

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Department of Membrane Research Biophysics, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


A Graded Autocatalysis Replication Domain (GARD) model is proposed, which provides a rigorous kinetic analysis of simple chemical sets that manifest mutual catalysis. It is shown that catalytic closure can sustain self replication up to a critical dilution rate, lambda c, related to the graded extent of mutual catalysis. We explore the behavior of vesicles containing GARD species whose mutual catalysis is governed by a previously published statistical distribution. In the population thus generated, some GARD vesicles display a significantly higher replication efficiency than most others. GARD thus represents a simple model for primordial chemical selection of mutually catalytic sets.

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