I wonder what the bare minimum is for a genome that could support life?
Candidatus Carsonella ruddii (a bacteria), has the smallest genome of any life (now known). It was shown that the genome consists of a circular chromosome of 159,662 base pairs. The number of predicted genes was 182, also the lowest on record.
this is according to: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
This is excluding mitochondrial life and viruses, both which need a host cell to survive, (I am assuming).
Can life exist without a cell wall?
Also, would the first life need a cell wall or just the ability to inhabit some type of organic foam, create energy from it's surroundings, replicate, maybe hibernate, and maybe create a ionic molecule that could attract a proto-cell-wall.