Suppose you are a cell??

Giovanni Maga maga at vetbio.unizh.ch
Wed Mar 29 02:04:31 EST 1995


In article <Pine.3.89.1.2-VMS-7.9503230936.A578594-0100000 at JEFLIN.TJU.EDU>,
BUONOR at JEFLIN.TJU.EDU (Russell Buonor/Anatomy) wrote:



> > >MDbones1 at ix.netcom.com (Dee Bones) wrote:
> > >>
> > >> Suppose that you are a cell with a complete & fully functional set of
> > 
> > >> organelles...
> > >> Now, for whatever reason you must sacrifice one of those organelles
> > yet
> > >> remain alive.
> > >> Which cellular organelle would you give up and why?  What are the
> > >> consequences???
> > >>
> > >> Thanks in advance to all...............DeeBones
> > >

> Let those mitochondria go, ferment and survive at a slower more relaxed pace!
> 
> Russ Buono  consumer of wine and beer!!  


This idea of mitochondria to go has been forwarded by many answers to this
question. I am not sure it can be a general argument that they can leave
without problems for the cell. For sure, the cell usually do not have to
choose (and if I were a cell I wouldn't choose as well). Loss of some
organelles is just the result of evolution, i.e. selection for some
variants (which arise spontaneously and randomly) which have more fitness
for a particular enviroment. Change env. and you will change the kind of
mutation selected. Thus, for some cell is good not to have mitochondria
(BTW, in yeast you *do not* loose the chromosomal genes for mitochondrial
proteins) for other ones not. Someone else cited flagellated protozoa (such
as Trichonympha, Barbulanympha, Pyrsonympha) that live in the hindgut of
lower termites and the wood-feeding roach, Cryptocercus. It is clear that
this is a special case of adaptation to a particular enviroment (but if I
were a cell and still keeping my common sense I would not like to live
inside a termite) but it cannot be general.
maga at vetbio.unizh.ch 



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