Prebiotic Compartments for Protometabolism

Zoom Link for Colloquium 04/26/2022 3:00pm PST.

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Presented by Sheref Mansy


Much progress has been made deciphering how the building blocks of life were synthesized prebiotically. However, the described pathways require different conditions at different steps, making it difficult to understand how one location could provide the many needed varied conditions. To overcome such problems, we will describe the role of compartments in retaining and sampling multiple  environments. We will also present data on prebiotically plausible mixtures of lipids that are stable to environmental conditions. Importantly, the increased stability allows the protocells to survive conditions thought to be necessary for the replication of nucleic acids and for the emergence of protometabolism. Therefore, the data are consistent with the presence of growing and dividing protocells on the prebiotic Earth with sufficient stability to allow for Darwinian evolution and supporting metabolism.