Exponential growth and selection in self-replicating materials from DNA origami rafts
Self-replication and evolution under selective pressure are inherent phenomena in life, and but few artificial systems exhibit these phenomena1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. We have designed a system of DNA origami rafts that exponentially replicates a seed pattern, doubling the copies in each diurnal-like cycle of temperature and ultraviolet illumination, producing more than 7 million copies in 24 cycles. We demonstrate environmental selection in growing populations by incorporating pH-sensitive binding in two subpopulations. In one species, pH-sensitive triplex DNA bonds enable parent–daughter templating, while in the second species, triplex binding inhibits the formation of duplex DNA templating. At pH 5.3, the replication rate of species I is ~1.3–1.4 times faster than that of species II. At pH 7.8, the replication rates are reversed. When mixed together in the same vial, the progeny of species I replicate preferentially at pH 7.8; similarly at pH 5.3, the progeny of species II take over the system. This addressable selectivity should be
Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmat4986
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