Origem da vida: uma estrutura experimental para gerar sistemas químicos evoluíveis no laboratório

segunda-feira, dezembro 04, 2017

Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres

December 2017, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 481–497 | Cite as

An Experimental Framework for Generating Evolvable Chemical Systems in the Laboratory

Authors Authors and affiliations

David A. Baum1,2

Email author

Kalin Vetsigian2,3

1.Department of BotanyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

2.Wisconsin Institute for DiscoveryUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

3.Department of BacteriologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

Open Access Prebiotic Chemistry

First Online: 18 November 2016



Most experimental work on the origin of life has focused on either characterizing the chemical synthesis of particular biochemicals and their precursors or on designing simple chemical systems that manifest life-like properties such as self-propagation or adaptive evolution. Here we propose a new class of experiments, analogous to artificial ecosystem selection, where we select for spontaneously forming self-propagating chemical assemblages in the lab and then seek evidence of a response to that selection as a key indicator that life-like chemical systems have arisen. Since surfaces and surface metabolism likely played an important role in the origin of life, a key experimental challenge is to find conditions that foster nucleation and spread of chemical consortia on surfaces. We propose high-throughput screening of a diverse set of conditions in order to identify combinations of “food,” energy sources, and mineral surfaces that foster the emergence of surface-associated chemical consortia that are capable of adaptive evolution. Identification of such systems would greatly advance our understanding of the emergence of self-propagating entities and the onset of adaptive evolution during the origin of life.


Autocatalysis Ecosystem selection Life-like chemistry Neighborhood selection Prebiotic chemistry Self-propagation Surface catalysis 

An erratum to this article is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s11084-016-9529-7