Do Pathogens Hold the Key to Understanding the Origins of Eukaryotes?

A major turning point in the history of life on Earth occurred about two billion years ago – the evolution of complex cells, the so-called eukaryotes. This was the foundational lineage that contained the first nucleus, an elaborate internal membrane system, and energy producing organelles referred to as mitochondria that powered the rise of algae, fungi, plants, and ultimately humans. But how did this quantum leap in evolutionary complexity happen?

That is the question EOAS scientist Dr. Debashish Bhattacharya hopes to help answer with his recently published co-authored paper in Science, “Pathogen to Powerhouse”.  He and his fellow researchers have now found evidence for a common mechanism that explains the origin of the canonical eukaryotic organelles, the mitochondrion, and the plastid.

 Read More About this Discovery Here

The Publication Can be Found Here 


Pathogen to Powerhouse
Science  12 Feb 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6274, pp. 659-660
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad8864