Mitochondria and the origin of eukaryotes




  • Based on a genomic analysis, McCutcheon and his colleagues found that the mealybugs’ metabolic pathways are now a mosaic made up of genes that originated with the bugs themselves, came in with their endosymbionts or were picked up by horizontal transfer from other microbes in the environment.
  • These examples illustrate how endosymbionts become integrated with their hosts and suggest that horizontal gene transfers from various sources could have been quite frequent early in the evolution of eukaryotes, too. β€œIt doesn’t show that is what happened in the formation of the mitochondria, but it shows that it’s possible,” says McCutcheon.
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