Prokaryotes are selected from replicating molecules when mass specific metabolism increases super-linearly with mass
With an efficient metabolism being dependent upon a metabolic compartment, the selection of metabolism is driving the selection of the cell and all its mass. This mass is trimmed [ w → wβ ] by the quality-quantity trade-off that selects for the β-dependent minimum mass (wβ) that is required for a functional self-replicator with a given mass specific metabolism (β). And with mass being selected as the β-dependent minimum, there is active selection for self-replicators with no more than the single cell.
This evolution of the smallest self-replicating cells is driven entirely by the mass dependence of mass specific metabolism and the counteracting selection of the quality-quantity trade-off. Although the selection of the β-dependent minimum mass is selecting for maximal population growth, a resource bias from interactive competition has not yet evolved [ ψι** = 0 ], and nor has the associated population dynamic feed-back selection (Fig. 1, right).
With a resource bias of zero [ ψι** = 0 ] it follows that the cost of resource sharing, the two-fold cost of the male, and the two-fold cost of meiosis are selecting for asexual reproduction with reproducing units that contain a single self-replicator only (Witting, 1997, 2002).
- DeLong, J.P., J.G. Okie, M.E. Moses, R.M. Sibly and J.H. Brown 2010. Shifts in metabolic scaling, production, and efficiency across major evolutionary transitions of life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107:12941--12945.
- Witting, L. 1995. The body mass allometries as evolutionarily determined by the foraging of mobile organisms. Journal of Theoretical Biology 177:129--137.
- Witting, L. 1997. A general theory of evolution. By means of selection by density dependent competitive interactions. Peregrine Publisher, Århus, 330 pp, URL http://mrLife.org.
- Witting, L. 2002. From asexual to eusocial reproduction by multilevel selection by density dependent competitive interactions. Theoretical Population Biology 61:171--195.
- Witting, L. 2017a. The natural selection of metabolism and mass selects allometric transitions from prokaryotes to mammals. Theoretical Population Biology 117:23--42, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tpb.2017.08.005.
- Witting, L. 2017b. The natural selection of metabolism and mass selects lifeforms from viruses to multicellular animals. Ecology and Evolution 7:9098--9118, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3432.