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Topic 11

Evolution Terms

TermDefinition
Hypercycle Model A model for the evolution of early life involving multiple types of replicators, each of which facilitates the replication of another in cyclical fashion.
Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) The population of organisms at the base of the tree of life. All living things today are descended from this one lineage.
Minimal Gene Set The hypothetical minimal number of genes thought necessary to allow for cellular-based life.
Molecular Mutualism When different molecules act such that they increase each other's rate of replication.
Mutualism An ecological interaction in which different individuals, often of different species, act so as to increase each other's fitness.
Phylogenetic Event Horizon The point in the history of life beyond which phylogenetic analysis is uninformative because there are no surviving descendants from ancestors before this point.
Prebiotic Soup Hypothesis The idea that the earliest life emerged in a soup-like liquid environment, drawing upon energy from cosmic rays, volcanic eruptions, and the Earth's own internal heat.
Protocell A cell-like entity that predated cellular life-forms in the history of life.
Ribozymes RNA molecules with enzymatic function.
RNA World A hypothetical early stage in the history of life in which RNA was the fundamental unit upon which life was based, fulfilling both an informational role and a catalytic role.
Created by: skyykazz