Some short notes on endosymbiotic theory

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  • Eukaryotic cells - presence of internal membranes and organelles - lacking in bacteria and archaea. 
  • Suggested that to 2 membranes that chloroplasts contain derive from the endosymbiotic procedure itself:
  • the inner membrane derives from the prokaryote ancestor.
  • the outer membrance derives from the vacuolar membrane of the eukaryotic cell which was involved in engulfing the endosymbiont. 
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Endosymbiotic Theory

  • Ancestral Eukaryotic cell engulfs an aerobic bacterium (mitochondria).
  • It then engulfs a photosynthetic bacterium to form endosymbiosis to form plant cells. 
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Ivan Wallin proposed that mitochondria may have be


  • Mitochondria and chloroplasts are similar in size and morphology to prokaryotes.
  • Both reproduce by binary fission as do bacteria.
  • Organelles can only arise from pre exsisting organelles.
  • Mitochondria and chloroplasts have their own DNA.
  • Organellular DNA resembles those of bacteria (DNA phylogeny)
  • Organelles contain their own ribosomes.
  • Differences in the composition of the 2 membranes.
  • Organelles can be targetted by antibiotics specific to prokaryotes. 
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