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Diversity and reductive evolution of mitochondria among microbial eukaryotes

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Karin Hjort, Dr Alina Goldberg Cavalleri, Anastasios Tsaousis, Professor Robert Hirt, Professor T. Martin Embley

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Abstract

All extant eukaryotes are now considered to possess mitochondria in one form or another. Many parasites or anaerobic protists have highly reduced versions of mitochondria, which have generally lost their genome and the capacity to generate ATP through oxidative phosphorylation. These organelles have been called hydrogenosomes, when they make hydrogen, or remnant mitochondria or mitosomes when their functions were cryptic. More recently, organelles with features blurring the distinction between mitochondria, hydrogenosomes and mitosomes have been identified. These organelles have retained a mitochondrial genome and include the mitochondrial-like organelle of Blastocystis and the hydrogenosome of the anaerobic ciliate Nyctotherus. Studying eukaryotic diversity from the perspective of their mitochondrial variants has yielded important insights into eukaryote molecular cell biology and evolution. These investigations are contributing to understanding the essential functions of mitochondria, defined in the broadest sense, and the limits to which reductive evolution can proceed while maintaining a viable organelle.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Hjort K, Goldberg AV, Tsaousis AD, Hirt RP, Embley TM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Year: 2010

Volume: 365

Issue: 1541

Pages: 713-727

Print publication date: 01/03/2010

Date deposited: 24/05/2010

ISSN (print): 0962-8452

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2954

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2009.0224

DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2009.0224


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