Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Publica

Hier finden Sie wissenschaftliche Publikationen aus den Fraunhofer-Instituten.

In silico evolution of early metabolism

 
: Ullrich, A.; Rohrschneider, M.; Scheuermann, G.; Stadler, P.F.; Flamm, C.

:

Artificial life 17 (2011), No.2, pp.87-108
ISSN: 1064-5462
ISSN: 1530-9185
English
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IZI ()

Abstract
We developed a simulation tool for investigating the evolution of early metabolism, allowing us to speculate on the formation of metabolic pathways from catalyzed chemical reactions and on the development of their characteristic properties. Our model consists of a protocellular entity with a simple RNA-based genetic system and an evolving metabolism of catalytically active ribozymes that manipulate a rich underlying chemistry. Ensuring an almost open-ended and fairly realistic simulation is crucial for understanding the first steps in metabolic evolution. We show here how our simulation tool can be helpful in arguing for or against hypotheses on the evolution of metabolic pathways. We demonstrate that seemingly mutually exclusive hypotheses may well be compatible when we take into account that different processes dominate different phases in the evolution of a metabolic system. Our results suggest that forward evolution shapes the metabolic networks in the very early st eps of evolution. In later and more complex stages, enzyme recruitment supersedes forward evolution keeping a core set of pathways from the early phase.

: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/documents/N-189981.html