Mitochondria is an organelle that is found in all eukaryotes. However, a study conducted by biologist Anna Karnkowska and her team shows the first eukaryote without mitochondria. They experimented and checked Monocercomonoides, a single-celled organism from the guts of a chinchilla, for mitochondria. The genome of this organism had no signs of mitochondrial genes. They also concluded that the proteins needed for mitochondria to function properly were missing. Scientists say that this organism does not require mitochondria because it most likely relies on enzymes to obtain energy and break food. They also state that this organism has borrowed genes from bacteria that synthesize iron and sulfur (used for proteins), which is a critical function of mitochondria that organisms cannot lack. Other scientists, such as B. Franz Lang and Mark van der Giezen, want further analysis and evidence that this eukaryote lacks mitochondria. However, B. Franz Lang says that this study has a ninety percent probability that it is accurate, and that it shows that eukaryotes may be more versatile than scientists think.
The full article, published in Science, can be seen here: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/first-eukaryotes-found-without-normal-cellular-power-supply
More information about Monocercomonoides can be found here: http://eol.org/pages/91688/overview
Author: Insung Kim
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