Fakultät für Physik




Seminar: Evolutionary Dynamics of Molecules – Übersicht

  • Übersicht


Informationen zur Vorlesung

Zeit und Ort

Tuesday 16:15 - 17:45
Room H206, Schellingstrasse 4

As minimal conditions for the emergence of an evolutionary dynamics, the three processes replication, mutation, and selection are needed. How can such an evolutionary dynamics emerge spontaneously with molecules under non-equilibrium conditions? This central question will be explored in the context of recent experimental and theoretical studies.


Papers as ZIP-File: Seminar 1-4, Seminar 5-8, Seminar 9-15  (last updated: Nov 18th)



Note: The Seminar on Jan 11, 2011 has been cancelled !




19.10. -  Introduction and selection of topics (Dieter Braun & Ulrich Gerland)


List of Topics and Papers  (last updated: Nov 18th)


26.10. (Gerland)

1 - Why start with an RNA World? [Georg Urtel] Talk PDF Link to Movie

The RNA World, Gilbert, Nature 319, 618 (1986)

Additional Papers:

- The intervening sequence RNA of Tetrahymena is an enzyme, Zaug and Cech, Science 231, 470 (1986)


2.11. (Braun)

2 - Schemes of Simple Replication [Matthias Hiermaier]

A self-replicating hexadeoxynucleotide, von Kiedrowski, Angewandte Chemie International Ed, 25:932–935 (1986)


9.11. (Braun)

3 - Chemical Basis: Polymerization of Nucleotides [Christian Schwall]

Montmorillonite catalysis of 30–50 mer oligonucleotides: Laboratory demonstration of potential steps in the origin of the RNA world, Ferris, Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, 32: 311-332 (2002)

Generation of Long RNA Chains in Water, Costanzo, Pino, Ciciriello and Di Mauro, Journal of biological chemistry, 284: 33206–33216 (2009)

Additional Papers:

- Montmorillonite Catalysis of RNA Oligomer Formation in Aqueous Solution. A Model for the Prebiotic Formation of RNA, Ferris and Ertem, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 115: 12270-12275 (1993)

- Molecular Complexity Favors the Evolution of Ribopolymers, Ciciriello, Costanzo, Pino, Crestini, Saladino and Di Mauro, Biochemistry 47:2732–2742 (2008)


16.11. (Braun)

4 - Catalyzed Replication [Nicolas Kuske]

RNA-catalyzed RNA polymerization: accurate and general RNA-templated primer extension, Johnston, Bartel et.al., Science 292, 1319 (2001)

23.11. (Gerland)

5 - Future of the RNA World [Michael Hartmann]

Crawling out of the RNA world, Cell, 136, 599 (2009)

30.11. (Braun)

6 - Boundary conditons & Disequilibrium [Arne Hartz]

Model Consideration for the Origin of Life, Hans Kuhn, Naturwissenschaften 63, 68-80 (1976)

Additional Papers:

- The emergence of life from iron monosulphide bubbles at a submarine hydrothermal redox and pH front, Russell and Hall

- Elongation of Oligopeptides in a Simulated Submarine Hydrothermal System, Science, Matsuno et.al. (1999)

- Extreme accumulation of nucleotides in simulated hydrothermal pore systems, PNAS, Braun et.al. (2007)

- Thermal Trap for DNA Replication, PRL, Mast and Braun (2009)

7.12. (Gerland)

7 - Error Threshold [Erik Gawehn]

Bull et al. Quasispecies made simple. PLoS Comput Biol (2005) vol. 1 (6) pp. e61

Additional paper:

Error catastrophe and antiviral strategy, Manfred Eigen, PNAS 99:13374–13376 (2002)


13 - Mutation rates & Evolution of Viruses [Michael Rebhan]

Extremely High Mutation Rate of a Hammerhead Viroid, Gago, Elena, Flores and Sanjuán, Science, 323:1308 (2009)


14.12. (Gerland)

15 - RNA evolution [Nicolas Lenner]

W Fontana, P Schuster (1998) Continuity in evolution: On the nature of transitions. Science 280, 1451

Additional paper:

- L W Ancel, W Fontana (2000) Plasticity, evolvability, and modularity in RNA. J Exp Zool 288, 242


21.12. (Braun)

9 - Selection and exponentiality of growth [Francesco Alaimo]

Szathmary: Survival of Replicators with Parabolic Growth Tendency and Exponential Decay (2001)

Additional paper:

Szathmary and Kiedrowski: Selection versus Coexistence of Parabolic Replicators Spreading on Surfaces (2000)


11.1. (Gerland) - cancelled

10 - The origin of the genetic code [Franz Englbrecht]

How old is the genetic code? Statistical geometry of tRNA provides an answer, Eigen, Lindemann, Tietze, Winkler, Science 244, 673 (1989)


18.1. (Gerland)

11 - Emergence of cellularity [Friederike Möller] Talk PDF

The emergence of cells during the origin of life, Chen, Science, 314:1558 (2006)

Additional paper:

- The emergence of Competition between model protocells, Chen, Roberts, Szostak, Science 305:1474 (2004)

25.1. (Gerland)

12 - Proofreading [Johannes Nagele]

J J Hopfield (1974) Kinetic proofreading: a new mechanism for reducing errors in biosynthetic processes requiring high specificity. PNAS 71, 4135.

Additional papers:

- J J Hopfield, T Yamane, V Yue, S M Coutts (1976) Direct experimental evidence for kinetic proofreading in amino acylation of tRNAIle. PNAS 73, 1164.

-  T Yamane, J J Hopfield (1977) Experimental evidence for kinetic proofreading in the aminoacylation of tRNA by synthetase. PNAS 74, 2246.


1.2. (Braun)

8 - Hypercycles [Dominik Thalmeier] (after christmas, 1.2.)

Hypercycles and the origin of life, JM Smith, Nature 280:445-446 (1979).

Additional paper:

The hypercycle, M Eigen, P Schuster, Naturwissenschaften 65, 7-41 (1978)


pwd biophysics

Verantwortlich für den Inhalt: Dieter Braun und Ulrich Gerland