Modeling Protocellular Ecosystems

Dutta, Thomas Tushar (2023) Modeling Protocellular Ecosystems. Masters thesis, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata.

[img] Text (Ms dissertation of Thomas Tushar Dutta (18MS117))
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Developments over the past century strongly indicate that life must have originated in concentrated solutions of organic molecules. Recent developments show that compartmentalization would have played a very important role in this regard, especially liquid-liquid phase separation, like droplets and vesicles. Modern Biology contains examples of both kinds, like granules and vacuoles. In this context, we ask under what conditions populations of such proto-cellular entities can coexist? We have proposed a model for droplet- and vesicle-based protocells to investigate this question. We also studied the dynamics of these entities due to each of the processes that characterise them, like interfacial diffusion, synthesis and fission. We developed coordinate transformations that make the numerical calculations efficient, argue the most relevant regimes for investigation, and provide analytical predictions about the limiting behaviour of various processes. We found that interfacial diffusion leads to a power law growth in the droplet radius with the exponent ranging between 1/3 and 1/2. Chemical reactions have been tackled in semi-dilute limit for the coacervates, and steady-state radius for vesicles and coacervates have been obtained as a function of the autocatalytic rates and precursor concentration. We have studied how the steady state is affected by their interaction both in the presence and absence of poisoning and have also explored the effect of distance in suppressing poisoning and its implications on the spacial segregation of protocell species, colony formation and coexistence.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Supervisor: Prof. Christoph Weber, University of Augsburg
Uncontrolled Keywords: Emulsions; Non-Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics; Phase Separation; Population Dynamics; Vesicles
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Department of Physical Sciences
Depositing User: IISER Kolkata Librarian
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2024 10:52
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2024 10:52

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