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The origin of biological homochirality along with the origin of life

Fig 5

Snapshots showing the natural arising of chirality-deviation induced by the surface-mediated synthesis and the template-directed synthesis and subsequent spontaneous emergence of NSR.

Molecules of nucleotides and RNA are represented as solid circles (dots), with diameter in proportion to the square root of the chain-length of these molecules. D-type of nucleotides and RNA are denoted in light red, except for D-NSR, which is denoted in bright red. L-type of nucleotides and RNA are denoted in light blue, except for L-NSR, which is denoted in bright blue (but note: in this case no L-NSR emerges). Step 10,000: after inoculation of nucleotide precursors in the beginning (Step 0), many nucleotide molecules of both chiral types form (tiny dots, see the zoom-in panel); Step 1.2×106: the formation of oligomers of both chiral types; Step 3×106: one chiral type (D-type in this case) achieves superiority, resulting from the surface-mediated synthesis and the template-directed synthesis; Step 4.24×106: the NSR molecule (see the green arrow) which ultimately gives rise to the thriving of NSR in the whole system; Step 4.5×106: the spread of the NSR; Step 6×106: the thriving of the NSR in the whole system. What is displayed in S1 Movie is of the same case, which focuses on the appearance and spread of the NSR (from step 4.2×106 to 4.7×106). See Fig 4A for the evolutionary dynamics of the case.

Fig 5

doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007592.g005