amitochondriate eukaryotes surviving?
How do Giardia survive/thrive if they have no mitochondria, given that it is considered the powerhouse of the cell?
- Formerly Peter SLv 71 month ago
the parasite contains simplified mitochondria, which are called mitosomes.
- Anonymous1 month ago
Certain eukaryotes, mostly in the former
kingdom, possess mitosomes, which are likely highly adapted mitochondria, except that the genes are gone, and the production of ATP seems to be absent. Mitochondrial genes have been identified in the nuclear genome, and at least for your example of Giardia, carry out anaerobic respiration to produce the massive amount of ATP needed to power their flagella. Mitosomes have been described as being involved in Iron-Sulfur protein synthesis. That almost certainly means that these organelles are involved in electron transport. There is still a lot of research needed to investigate how the genomic DNA contains genes which used to reside in mitochondria. Organisms like this likely still carry out respiration, they just don't use oxygen for their final electron acceptor (probably taking in nitrate or some other inorganic).