Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Origin of Motility in Eukaryotes

I was able to set aside my normal duties today and attend a lecture by a visiting professor, Dr. Lynn Margulis. She is a professor at UMASS-Amherst. Her talk concerned the origin of movement and motility in eukaryotes. It was a very facinating lecture. She believes that motility arose from a symbiosis of two bacteria, a spirochaete and an archaebacteria. This goes along with the theory of how mitochondria and plastids developed, called the Serial Endosymbiosis Theory.

Dr. Margulis' research seems to support her hypothesis thus far. She has found current marine models which support this; instead of an archaebacterium though, Thiodendron is symbiotic with a spirochaete. Also, cytoplasm in the cells produce relatively large amounts of sulfide, which one would expect as a remnant from the original syntropy of hydrogen sulfide oxidizing spirochaetes and sulfur oxidizing archaebacteria. Her next step is to try and find symbiotic archaebacteria and spirochaetes in Woods Hole, MA.


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