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In Search of Cell HistoryThe Evolution of Life's Building Blocks$
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Franklin M. Harold

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226174143

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226174310.001.0001

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Symbionts into Organelles

Symbionts into Organelles

Mitochondria, Plastids, and Their Kin

Chapter:
(p.126) Chapter Eight Symbionts into Organelles
Source:
In Search of Cell History
Author(s):

Franklin M. Harold

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226174310.003.0008

Mitochondria and plastids are the workhorses of eukaryotic metabolism. It is outrageous but indisputably true that they evolved from endosymbiotic Bacteria during the genesis of eukaryotic organization: mitochondria from alpha-proteobacteria, plastids from cyanobacteria. This chapter considers what molecular alterations were required to transform free-living bacteria into organelles. All mitochondria appear to be products of a single episode of this kind. So is the great majority of plastids, which then dispersed widely across the eukaryotic universe. The exception is the plastid of the protist Paulinella, which represents an independent and much more recent instance of endosymbiosis. Hydrogenosomes and other specialized organelles found in anaerobic eukaryotes belong to the extended mitochondrial family, and appear to be products of reductive evolution.

Keywords:   endosymbiosis, mitochondria, plastids, Paulinella, hydrogenosomes

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