Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Hydrogenosomes: Origin

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_4695-1

Recent hydrogenosomes have apparently different origins and have evolved several times at different places. As is shown in molecular biological analysis and in phylogenetic reconstructions of rRNA data, they represent strongly reduced anaerobic stages like mitochondria (without inner invaginations). In general DNA is absent in hydrogenosomes and their essential proteins are encoded inside the nucleus of the cell. As mitochondria hydrogenosomes have the same evolutionary origin since that in both cases, a free-living proteobacterium was engulfed by a cell and stayed there as endosymbiont. They possess therefore like recent mitochondria two limiting membranes consisting of phospho- and glycolipids. In contrast to mitochondria, hydrogenosomes obtain their energy by phosphorylation by the help of substrate chains, while mitochondria use an electron transportation chain. As well as in contrast to mitochondria, most hydrogenosomes have no own genome, and thus all their proteins are encoded...


Cell Nucleus Phylogenetic Reconstruction Evolutionary Origin Biological Analysis Essential Protein 
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Further Reading

  1. Martin W (2010) Evolutionary origins of metabolic compartmentalization in eukaryotes. Philos Trans R Soc Lond Biol Sci 365:847–855CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Martin W, Mentel M (2010) The origin of mitochondria. Nat Educ 3:58–68Google Scholar
  3. Martin W, Müller MC (1998) The hydrogen hypothesis for the first eukaryote. Nature 392:37–41CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany