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minimal cellMinimalzelle (ger.)

  • A cell of minimal complexity, consisting only of the minimal set of components necessary for its survival in a laboratory environment.  

    Not long ago such a concept of a “minimum cell” would have been thought of as plainly absurd. Today it is quite a permissible abstraction indicating the goal of rather likely future achievements.

    Gaffron, H. (1957). Photosynthesis and the origin of life. In: Rudnick, D. (ed.). Rhythmic and Synthetic Processes in Growth, 127-154: 127.

    All the membrane systems of the cell may be looked upon as specializations of a primitive membrane system that goes back to the time in evolutionary development when the essential equipment of the minimal cell was first perfected
    Green, D.E. & Fleischer, S. (1964). Role of lipid in mitochondrial function. In: Dawson, R.M.C. & Rhodes, D.N. (eds.). Metabolism and Physiological Significance of Lipids, 581-617: 612.
    An order of magnitude separates the sizes of the smallest actual cell and the theoretical minimal cell
    Morowitz, H.J. (1967). Biological self-replicating systems. In: Snell, F.M. (ed.). Progress in Theoretical Biology, vol. 1, 35-58: 55.
    We shall invoke a ›minimal cell‹ in which this minimum of essential equipment is contained
    Green, D.E. & Goldberger, R.F. (1967). Molecular Insights into the Living Process: 3.
    minimal cell
    Fleischaker, G.R. (1990). Origins of life: an operational definition. Origins Life Evol. Biosph. 20, 127-137: 132.
    minimal cell
    Bork, P. (1995). Exploring the Mycoplasma capricolum genome: a minimal cell reveals its physiology. Molec. Microbiol. 16, 955-968.