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ctothel t1_ir9kdyg wrote

To be clear, mitochondria were once separate organisms, which had evolved to process oxygen for their energy.

Our single-called ancestors probably got energy from hydrogen, or from fermentation, but one of them engulfed a mitochondria (actually, an ancestor of what we call mitochondria) and was then able to use the energy produced by it.

When that cell divided, the mitochondria divided too, going along for the ride. This line of symbiotic cells was very successful, and is the ancestor of all plants and animals.

The exact same thing happened on a sub branch of this line, but with the cell also incorporating a kind of photosynthetic bacteria we now call chloroplasts. This sub branch evolved into plants.

Both chloroplasts and mitochondria have their own separate DNA that has nothing to do with ours. They are literally separate organisms that make up part of our cells.


Rheytos t1_ir9q7h3 wrote

Every time man. It gives me the thrills how wonderfully complicated nature is. Truly marvelous


ctothel t1_irex83i wrote

Hey do you know why your other reply to me was removed?


Rheytos t1_irfj49x wrote

I don’t. I don’t think we said anything wrong… Reddit mods gotta mod I guess


peolorat t1_ir9ocg7 wrote

Didn't know this, my mind is currently blown. I though that somewhere in one of our chromosomes there was the genetic sequences for all the proteins that make up a mitochondria as well.

So what happens if we introduce chloroplasts into an animal? Did anyone try?


ctothel t1_ir9qqki wrote

Mind blowing is the appropriate response!

I’m not sure if anybody has tried what you’re suggesting. It would probably just be broken down though, unless there was some technique nobody knows about.


Guciguciguciguci t1_irazq3p wrote

It will be the first animal that doesn’t have to eat!!

If humans could stand in the sun three times a day and then be like: ah, that was delicious. Now back to work.


UmdieEcke2 t1_irhk0hp wrote

Sure, although you would probably have to sunbath around 300 hours per day to cover your energy needs.


Darkhorseman81 t1_ir9oent wrote

H2S hydrogen and sulphur. It's why H2S is still such an important epigenetic signalling molecule.


Alternative-Flan2869 t1_ir9nm0l wrote

Is the euglena the crossroad point of plant/animal separation/ evolution?


ctothel t1_ir9pzms wrote

It doesn’t really make sense to look at a species that’s alive today and think of it as the last common ancestor of two branches, because that species has been changing as well (even if not very much).

Plus, given we don’t have chloroplasts but the Euglena does, it might be safe to assume it split off the branch that would eventually form plants after we did. Unless we once had chloroplasts but got rid of them, but I haven’t heard that theory.

But it seems as though the Euglena split off quite early, yes.


kongx8 t1_irevs0g wrote

It is thought that euglena split off from the plant/green algae line before the development chloroplasts from captured Cyanobacteria. It likely that Euglena’s ancestors received their chloroplasts from engulfing an eukaryotic green algae. Over time, the engulfed algae was reduced to a chloroplast and a nucleus, thus serving a similar function to the original chloroplasts.


travelling-through t1_irc1bb7 wrote

so what does this change mean for us? do we have an idea?

by we I mean any human anywhere who is qualified to have an educated guess


ctothel t1_irdn77l wrote

If I understand your question, mitochondria are probably responsible for us existing at all. The partnership between our cells and theirs granted the energy required to become multi-cellular, and to start increasing the size of the genome.

It takes energy to copy a gene, and more genes require more energy. Oxygen is much more efficient energy source for cells than the alternatives.

There’s also a theory that having a separate set of genes that handled energy means the host cell didn’t need to worry about that bit, which allowed both us and our “powerhouse” to adapt more quickly and effectively to our environment.


travelling-through t1_irdrbz4 wrote

I was mislead by the title. I thought the mitochondria is now working its way in to nuclear DNA and it didn't do that before, so thats why I was asking about how this will affect us

Now I had time to read the full article and I get it.
Thanks for trying to answer though.


ctothel t1_irdrli5 wrote

Oh I see! I thought you meant the change that came from the original incorporation of mitochondria. Makes sense now :-)