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SolarLunix posted an excellent answer detailing the criteria for being classified as "alive", and showed that by those criteria, mitochondria could be considered as "dead". However, I would argue that the narrator's statement in your video does not make any sense. The currently-accepted theory of the evolution of mitochondria (and possibly other organelles) ...


25

Isn't there a possibility that cell division will result in a daughter cell with no mitochondria? Yes, there is always the possibility. However, there must be a strong negative selection pressure against eukaryotic life that cannot achieve the proper partitioning of mitochondria, so you can imagine that there are mechanisms in place to prevent this case. ...


19

Mitochondria evolved before chloroplasts. We know this because Mitochondria form a monophyletic group: e.g. all life with mitochondria traces back to a single common ancestor (source). Since the group with chloroplasts groups within this clade, it must be the case that either (a) chloroplasts were obtained by an organism that already had mitochondria or (b) ...


18

There is evidence that cells can exchange mitochondria. There are some donor cells that transfer mitochondria to recipient cells via cytoplasmic nanotubes (within the same species). This happens endogenously and triggering factors may include stress. References: Pasquier et al. 2013 Ahmad et al. 2014 Wang and Gerdes. 2015 Hayakawa et al. 2016 On ...


14

This is one of the most intriguing questions of eukaryotic evolution. As far as I know and have read, the autogenous theory is not accepted. There are quite some reviews on this topic. Also there is a wonderful book by Nick Lane on mitochondria called Power Sex and Suicide. You would be interested to read it. There are no sufficient evidences for the ...


14

Short answer: According to the definition of life, yes, Mitochondria are "dead". To be considered alive an organism must meet the following criteria: organized structure performing a specific function an ability to sustain existence, e.g. by nourishment an ability to respond to stimuli or to its environment capable of adapting an ability ...


13

In addition to S Pr's excellent example, I wanted to point out that some very recent research describes some special behavior in oocyte development specifically related to mitochondria selection. Here's a easy-to-read version: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190515131741.htm Here's the original version in Nature: https://www.nature.com/...


12

I would like to expand a bit on SolarLunix's post, because the logic used in the conclusion would also mean that endosymbionts, such as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchnera_(bacterium), who cannot survive outside their host are also "dead". I think many of us disagree with that notion, so instead I would say that it's the fact that so many of their genes ...


11

...would then be his offspring at risk? Why? No. Generally speaking, fathers do not pass on their mtDNA (Mitochondrial DNA). Why? Because the mitochondria present in oocytes (egg cell) is the mother's, as every oocyte directly inherits the mother's mitochondria when they are made in the reproductive organs. The mitochondria that the sperm from the father ...


11

A typical animal cell has 1000-2000 mitochondria. From a statistical point of view, assuming a random distribution of the mitochondria and that the cell splits in half, the probability of having 0 mitochondria is (1/2)^1000 or 9e-302. This makes it an impossibility for all practical purposes. With enough mitochondria, a process to ensure the cell splits ...


10

The way we were To understand why you may encounter ATP synthase referred to as ATPase, you need to be aware of the historical context — the experimental work that preceded the knowledge of the structure and function of the enzyme complex that we have today. In a nutshell: Original studies of the components of what we now know to be a complex capable of ...


9

If we were to suppose, as in the question, that all the mitochondria in a cell 'died' ('were irreparably damaged' would be better, as they are not independently alive) without any other consequences the cell would have no way of regenerating them. Even if the cell had another source of ATP (see @another 'Homo sapien' comment) such as anaerobic glycolysis, ...


9

This is slightly depending on which reaction you want to include into the cycle. I count four: One when Pyruvate is converted to Acetyl-CoA, one when Isocitrate is converted to α-Ketoglutarate, one for the reaction of α-Ketoglutarate to Succinyl-CoA and finally one for the reaction of Malate to Oxaloacetate. If you see the reaction of ...


8

There are metabolic processes in which ATP is synthesised without the involvement of ATP synthase. The best examples are, in fact, two steps in the glycolytic pathway, catalysed by phosphoglycerate kinase and pyruvate kinase. This is why, in the absence of any aerobic metabolism, many organisms (like yeast for example) can grow quite happily, producing two ...


7

In general, $\ce{NADH}$ and $\ce{FADH2}$ are coenzymes. The structure of the main part of an enzyme determines which coenzyme or which prosthetic group will work with the concerned enzyme. Unlike most other TCA cycle enzymes, Succinic Dehydrogenase involves the participation of $\ce{FAD}$ rather than $\ce{NAD}$ and that is a consequence of its specific ...


7

According to my knowledge, this was the molecular and cellular evolutionary path of life. Synthesis of essential building blocks (fatty acids, aminoacids, cofactors...) Condensation of building blocks First RNA replicase; RNA genomes (differentiation between genomic and functional RNA, primitive metabolism) Ribosomes and first matrix dependent ...


7

I do not have a definitive answer but I can argue that mitochondria came into existence before chloroplasts despite the fact that, between their free living ancestors- $\alpha$-proteobacterium and Cyanobacteria, the latter seems to be older in evolution. I have following points to support this argument: The organisms that have chloroplasts also have ...


7

What is difference between plastid, chloroplast and mitochondira? Plastid is a general term for an organelle which consists of Chloroplasts, Chromoplasts, Leukoplasts/Amyloplasts and Apicoplasts. Chloroplasts (Chloro = green) are involved in photosynthesis; they express Chlorophylls and have the thylakoid structures which are involved in the electron ...


7

I would say it has to do with the amount of mitochondrial or sequence that has been transferred to the host genome. As a consequence of all this information stored in the host genome, mitochondria cannot reproduce without the host. In this way, they are not their own organisms, but rather organelles. Over evolutionary time, the line between organelle and ...


7

Maternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA is very well conserved, although some species, such as some mussels, show paternal inheritance. As for why or what the advantage is, some of it is due to basic logistics: sperm cells have ~100-1000 mitochondria, egg cells have 105-106, so male contributions are largely washed out. Plus, most mitochondria in sperm ...


7

The short answer is, as you found, that mitochondria are wrapped in a double membrane and are thus harder to penetrate with antibiotics. The long answer is some of them do. Good antibiotics target structures widely found on and conserved in bacteria that are not found in human bodies. Some antibiotics are a little less specific and can indeed interact ...


7

The answer is a bit more complicated than that. Mitochondria contain their own genome called mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), encoding 13 proteins that are part of respiratory complexes I, III, IV, and V, 22 transfer RNAs (tRNAs), and two ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs). The separate tRNAs and rRNAs are necessary because the mitochondrial genome uses a slightly different ...


7

I think the question is based on a false premise: Poster: Now, mitochondria are said to have been archaea, right? Me: Wrong, I’m afraid. The closest bacterial relation of mitochondria is Rickettsia, an alpha-Proteobacterium (see Lang et al. for a review). Rickettsia is a eubacterium, not an archaebacterium. The confusion is probably due to ...


7

Uncoupling ATP synthesis from the ETC (electron transfer chain; this is where oxidation takes place) by thermogenin or any other method means that the energy used to generate or uphold the proton gradient gets 'lost'. Since physics teaches us that energy is only transferred and never truly lost, the energy consumed by the ETC must most go somewhere - heat / ...


6

The passage of protons through the FO (membrane) portion of the molecule (driven by the electrochemical gradient of protons across the respiratory membrane) generates torque at the interface between the a and c subunits. This mean that the ring of 10 c subunits rotates relative to the a subunit. The γ subunit in the stalk rotates along with the ring of ...


6

Diffusion, is by definition (Ficks Law) describing movement along or against some gradient (here its concentration) even if the mechanism of transport differ: active, passive, facilitated. The setup of the electrochemical gradient across membrane, like any thermodynamic process is not perfect, there are always entropy losses. In this case, this manifests as ...


6

"Cyanide" doesn't refer to just one compound, but given the lethal dose you mention of "half a gram" you are probably referring to potassium cyanide, with a molecular weight of about 65g/mol, so 0.5 gram is about $10^{22}$ molecules. Potassium cyanide becomes hydrogen cyanide in the stomach, and hydrogen cyanide is the gas (at body temperature) that causes ...


6

Interesting question. As a prelude, I should probably mention that single celled organisms cannot get cancer as we understand and define it. Mitochondria are not, of course, single celled organisms, they are organelles, but this interesting question involves treating them as if they were autonomous. We'll come back to that later. First, single-celled ...


5

We know about nuclear DNA having a mitochondrial origin mainly in two ways: (1) a sequence in the nucleus is found to closely match a sequence found in mitochondria, or (2) mitochondrial proteins are found to be encoded by the nuclear genome but not by the mitochondrial genome, and those proteins seem likely to have been necessary for sustaining life of the ...


5

Interesting question. I researched this a bit now and the phenomenon is termed "numt" for "nuclear mitochondrial DNA". This term descrives the transfer of cytoplasmic mitochondrial DNA sequences into the separate nuclear genome of a eukaryotic organism. It seems that most of these sequences are inactive. This list at pseudogene.net has a large number of ...


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