New debate over how mitochondria entered our cells

The debate regarding how mitochondria first entered our cells has been reignited, with research from the University of Sydney providing new ideas as to how cells evolved and eventually came to possess these energy-producing units.

Midichloria mitochondrii, the bacterium researchers have been studying (named after microbes in Star Wars called Midi-chlorians), has revealed mitochondria may have entered our cells using a “tail” to swim, and could survive with almost no oxygen.

The conception of mitochondria as possessing flagellum, as well as acting parasitically rather than passively, challenges the commonly-accepted view currently taught in biology.

Read more at University of Sydney