Molecular crowding and early evolution

The environment of protocells might have been crowded with small molecules and functional and non-specific polymers. In addition to altering conformational equilibria, affecting reaction rates and changing the structure and activity of water, crowding might have enhanced the capabilities of protocells for evolutionary innovation through the creation of extended neutral networks in the fitness landscape.

R. Saha, A. Pohorille, and I. A. Chen
Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres
Volume: 44
Number: 4
Pages: 319-324
Date: January, 2015
ICB Affiliated Authors: Irene A Chen