Bacterial cells Organelles and their Functions

Function / June 21, 2016

There is compelling evidence that mitochondria and chloroplasts were once primitive bacterial cells. This evidence is described in the endosymbiotic theory. How did this theory get its name? Symbiosis occurs when two different species benefit from living and working together. When one organism actually lives inside the other it's called endosymbiosis. The endosymbiotic theory describes how a large host cell and ingested bacteria could easily become dependent on one another for survival, resulting in a permanent relationship. Over millions of years of evolution, mitochondria and chloroplasts have become more specialized and today they cannot live outside the cell.

It's Just a Theory

In everyday speech, people use the word theory to mean an opinion or speculation not necessarily based on facts. But in the field of science, a theory is a well established explanation based on extensive experimentation and observation. Scientific theories are developed and verified by the scientific community and are generally accepted as fact.

Mitochondria Have DNA

Mitochondria and chloroplasts have striking similarities to bacteria cells. They have their own DNA, which is separate from the DNA found in the nucleus of the cell. And both organelles use their DNA to produce many proteins and enzymes required for their function. A double membrane surrounds both mitochondria and chloroplasts, further evidence that each was ingested by a primitive host. The two organelles also reproduce like bacteria, replicating their own DNA and directing their own division.

Source: learn.genetics.utah.edu