A “synthetic minimal cell” is considered in our work as a celllike artificial vesicle reproduction system in which an information polymer regulates a chemical and physico-chemical transformation network. In this study, we demonstrate such a minimal cell consisting of three artificial metabolic pathways: energy production unit, information polymer synthesis unit, and vesicle membrane growth unit. Ingredients supplied to vesicles are chemically converted to energy currency molecules that trigger the synthesis of an information polymer. The vesicle membrane plays the role of “template” in synthesizing the information polymer, and the obtained information polymer promotes vesicle membrane growth. By coordinating the vesicle membrane in terms of composition and permeability to osmolytes, the growing vesicles show recursive reproduction over several generations. Our synthetic minimal cell greatly simplifies the scheme of contemporary living systems while keeping their essence. Therefore, the minimal cell’s chemical and reproduction pathways are well described by kinetic equations and by applying the membrane elasticity model, respectively. This study provides new insights to understand better the differences and similarities between nonliving forms and living forms of matter.

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