Friday, May 7, 2021
Mitochondrial Health

How Two Microbes Changed History

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What if I told you that, more than two billion years ago, some tiny living thing started to live inside another living thing … and never left? And now, the descendants of both of those things are in you?

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Chemical and membrane similarities between prokaryotes and organelles:
Margolin W. 2005. FTSZ and the division of prokaryotic cells and organelles. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 6(11): 862-871.
Wise RR, Hoober JK. 2007. Structure and function of plastids. Springer, Berlin. (Chapter 5)
ISBN 9781402065705
Zeth K, Thein M. 2010. Porins in prokaryotes and eukaryotes: common themes and variations. Biochemical Journal 431(1): 13-22.
DOI: 10.1042/BJ20100371
Fischer K, Weber A, Brink S, Arbinger B, Schünemann D, Borchert S, Heldt HW, Popp B, Link TA, Eckeskorn C, Flügge U-I. 1994. Molecular cloning and functional characterization of two new members of the porin family. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 269(41): 25754-25760.
Fairman JW, Noinaj N, Buchanan SK. 2011. The structural biology of β-barrel membrane proteins: a summary of recent reports. Current Opinion in Structural Biology 21(4): 523-531.
Mileykovskaya E, Dowhan W. 2009. Cardiolipin membrane domains in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Biomembranes 1788(10): 2084-2091.
Organelle genomes, organelle dependence on the host cells:
Timmis JN, Ayliffe MA, Huang CY, Martin W. 2004. Endosymbiotic gene transfer: organelle genomes forge eukaryotic chromosomes. Nature Reviews Genetics 5: 123-135.
Andersson SGE, Zomorodipour A, Andersson JO, Sicheritz-Pontén T, Alsmark UCM, Podowski RM, Näslund AK, Eriksson A-S, Winkler HH, Kurland CG. 1998. The genome sequence of Rickettsia prowazekii and the origin of mitochondria. Nature 396: 133-140.
Stoebe B, Kowallik KV. 1999. Gene-cluster analysis in chloroplast genomics. Trends in Genetics 15, 344–347.
Douglas A, Raven JA. 2003. Genomes at the interface between bacteria and organelles. Philosophical Transactions B 358(1429): 5-18.
doi: 10.1098/rstb.2002.1188
Dagan T, Roettger M, Stucken K, Landan G, Koch R, Major P, Gould SB, Goremykin VV, Rippka R, Tandeue de Marsac N, Gugger M, Lockhart PJ, Allen JF, Brune I, Maus I, Pühler A, Martin WF. 2013. Genomes of stigonematalean cyanobacteria (Subsection V) and the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis from prokaryotes to plastids. Genome Biology and Evolution 5(1): 31-44.
History of the idea:
Sagan, L. 1967. On the origin of mitosing cells. Journal of Theoretical Biology 14(3): 225-274.
Oldest fossil appearances:
Bengtson S, Sallstedt T,Belivanova V, Whitehouse M. 2017. Three-dimensional preservation of cellular and subcellular structures suggest 1.6 billion-year-old crown-group red algae. PLOS Biology 15(3): e2000735.
Bengtson S, Rasmussen B, Ivarsson M, Muhling J, Broman C, Marone F, Stampononi M, Bekker A. 2017. Fungus-like mycelial fossils in 2.4-billion-year-old vesicular basalt. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, Article number: 0141 (2017)


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38 thoughts on “How Two Microbes Changed History
  1. I got to hear a guest lecture by Lynn Margulis at my alma mater in the early 2000's. She was brilliant and extremely clear about explaining all of this to an audience of mostly non-biologists.

  2. Symbiotic doesn’t mean everyone’s a winner. Symbiosis is just the interrelationship of two species based on benefit vs anti?-benefit. Parasitism is also a form of symbiosis, and what we normally call symbiosis or a symbiotic relationship is mutualism, a form of symbiosis in which, you guessed it, both organisms mutually benefit.

  3. Until halfway through this video, it sounds like your going to say one bacteria infect another. That doesn’t make sense. Then you say bacteria infected us. I liked the first thing better.

  4. Does this mean that Eukaryotes might possibly be paraphyletic? Also, did Eukaryotes originate from prokaryotes infected by prokaryotes, or did eukaryotes become more derived by eukaryotes infected by prokaryotes.

  5. I am looking for information on the role insects played in evolution. They reproduce copiously and everything eats them. Flight in other species is a byproduct of trying to catch flying prey items. Locust can completely consume all plant life in their path. How did imbalances in insect populations arbitrarily change the path of evolution?

  6. Hey Eons people thanks for that info video. I knew about mitochondria being originally bacteria but not about chloroplasts and also not about red algae in kelp. Very interesting. Can you do a video about how a virus became the reason mammals have a placenta including us and talk about different types of viruses that can be beneficial in symbiosis rather than kill us? Thank you. 🙏

  7. meanwhile 2 billion years ago while 2 cells were replicating…

    Cell 1: “see you later alligator”
    Cell 2: “In a while crocodile”

    2 billion years later…
    Crocodile: “I told you we’d see each other again”
    Alligator: “Nice”

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