Uma visão radical da evolução das organelas

segunda-feira, maio 04, 2020

Alternating terminal electron‐acceptors at the basis of symbiogenesis: How oxygen ignited eukaryotic evolution

Dave Speijer

First published:05 January 2017


What kind of symbiosis between archaeon and bacterium gave rise to their eventual merger at the origin of the eukaryotes? I hypothesize that conditions favouring bacterial uptake were based on exchange of intermediate carbohydrate metabolites required by recurring changes in availability and use of the two different terminal electron chain acceptors, the bacterial one being oxygen. Oxygen won, and definitive loss of the archaeal membrane potential allowed permanent establishment of the bacterial partner as the proto‐mitochondrion, further metabolic integration and highly efficient ATP production. This represents initial symbiogenesis, when crucial eukaryotic traits arose in response to the archaeon‐bacterium merger. The attendant generation of internal reactive oxygen species (ROS) gave rise to a myriad of further eukaryotic adaptations, such as extreme mitochondrial genome reduction, nuclei, peroxisomes and meiotic sex. Eukaryotic origins could have started with shuffling intermediate metabolites as is still essential today.