“What Do We Really Know About the Origin of the Cell’s Powerhouse?”
Mitochondria — the so-called “powerhouse of the cell” — have a vital function in eukaryotic cells. Evidence accumulated over the past half century strongly points to an origin of the mitochondrion from a free-living bacterium closely related to a specific group, the Alphaproteobacteria. However, the actual processes by which this endosymbiotic bacterium was integrated into its host cell remain controversial. Michael W. Gray discusses what we really know about the origins of the cell’s powerhouse.
Michael W. Gray is a professor emeritus of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Centre for Comparative Genomics and Evolutionary Bioinformatics at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada.
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