Jul 1, 1976

Formation of proteinoid microspheres under simulated prebiotic atmospheres and individual gases

Bio Systems
W W McAlhaney, D L Rohlfing


The formation of microspheres from acidic and basic proteinoids was attempted under simulated prebiotic atmospheres and constituent gases thereof. Both types of proteinoid yielded microspheres under carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen (tested separately) and also under nitrogen-carbon dioxide atmospheres; higher proportions of carbon dioxide resulted in fewer spheres from basic proteinoid. Neither type of proteinoid formed spheres on 10-minute exposure to ammonia or methane-hydrogen-ammonia atmospheres. (Brief exposure resulted in spheres from basic proteinoid.) The effects, both qualitative and quantitative, were indicated by control experiments to be due to pH, rather than to the specific gas (or ion). The results suggest that the proteinoid microsphere model for protocells is applicable under a variety of possible prebiotic atmospheres, with some restrictions imposed by pH.

  • References8
  • Citations5


  • References8
  • Citations5


Mentioned in this Paper

Gene Products, Protein
Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Dioxide
Latex Spheres
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Origin of Life

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