pre-mitochondrial electron transport

James O. McInerney Ph.D. jamm at nhm.ac.uk
Fri Apr 12 04:22:04 EST 1996


The accepted (??) wisdom is that a proteobacterium became an 
endosymbiont of an early eukaryote and this led to the present day 
system.  The timing for this event has been suggested to have occurred 
after the splitting of some organisms (ie Giardia) from the rest of the 
eukaryotes (Giardia lacks mitochondria).

My question:

What did these early eukaryotes do for energy??  

We have some examples of eukaryotes (eg. T. vaginalis) that do not have 
mitochondria, but clearly their ancestors HAD mitochondria (sequence 
similarities of chromosomally-encoded genes to bacterial counterparts 

How did pre-mitochondrial eukaryotes break down complex molecules into 
CO2 and H2O?
Are there eukaryotic mechanisms (not mitochondrially-encoded) that 
facilitate such processes?

Note 1: It's years since I took biochemistry classes!!
Note 2: I hope this msg fits into this newsgroup, I think maybe it does.
Dr. James O. McInerney Ph.D.        Phone/Voicemail: +44 171 938 9247
Senior Scientific Officer,          email:j.mcinerney at nhm.ac.uk
The Natural History Museum,         
Cromwell Road,
London SW7 5BD

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