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Trends Microbiol. 2011 Feb;19(2):58-64. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2010.11.001. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

Time to recognise that mitochondria are bacteria?

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  • 1Centre for Systems Biology, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK. m.pallen@bham.ac.uk


The scientific community is comfortable with recognising mitochondria as organelles that happen to be descendants of bacteria. Here, I playfully explore the arguments for and against a phylogenetic fundamentalism that states that mitochondria are bacteria and should be given their own taxonomic family, the Mitochondriaceae. I also explore the consequences of recognizing mitochondria as bacteria for our understanding of the systemic response to trauma and for the prospects of creating transgenic mitochondria.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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