Growth and replication of model protocells
Growth and division are fundamental properties of living organisms. Understanding how a mixture of molecules can assemble into a replicating cell remains one of the biggest mysteries in the origin of life. The EU-funded project DynaGrow is going to develop a new kind of coacervate-based protocell model that can support growth and template-directed replication. These coacervate-based protocells are condensed water-rich liquid droplets that can compartmentalise and concentrate water-soluble template molecules. They will be composed of low-complexity oligopeptides capable of fuel-driven active growth achieved through elongation or side chain modification. This remarkable new approach represents a new step in the creation of a minimal cell, which is necessary for our understanding of the origin of life and evolution.
Funding SchemeERC-STG - Starting Grant
6525 XZ Nijmegen