Mitochondrial Morphology, Dynamics and Inheritance
The first eukaryotes are thought to have arisen around 2 billion years ago through symbiosis of an archaebacterial host cell and a eubacterial symbiont (mitochondrial ancestor). The mitochondrion we know today is the result, therefore, of 2 billion years of evolution of this symbiosis. Like modern day bacteria, mitochondria cannot be created de novo but instead must arise from the fission (division) of a parental organelle. In addition to fission, mitochondria also fuse with one another and it is thought that a co-ordinated balance of these two processes controls mitochondrial shape, size and number. In the past five to seven years, molecular genetics coupled to state-of-the-art cell biology, in particular the use of mitochondrial-targeted GFP, has enabled identification of proteins controlling mitochondrial shape, size and number in yeast and mammalian cells. Whilst little is known about higher plant mitochondrial dynamics several genes involved in the control of plant mitochondrial dynamics have been identified recently.
KeywordsMitochondrial Fission Mitochondrial Morphology Mitochondrial Dynamic Mitochondrial Fusion Chloroplast Division
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