Andreea Munteanu, Ricard Solé

Paper #: 05-05-017

Ganti's chemoton model (Cell. Biol. Int. 26 (2002): 729) is considered as an iconic example of a minimal protocell including three key ingredients: membrane, metabolism and information. The three subsystems are coupled and it is suggested they guarantee a stable, homeostatic replication cycle. However, a detailed exploration of the model indicates that it displays a wide range of complex dynamics, from regularity to chaos. Here we report the presence of a very rich set of dynamical patterns potentially displayed by a protocell as described by the chemoton model. The implications for early cellular evolution and synthesis of artificial cells are discussed.