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The Division of Endosymbiotic Organelles

This article discusses division of mitochondria and chloroplasts. Mitochondria and chloroplasts are essential eukaryotic organelles of endosymbiotic origin. Dynamic cellular machineries divide these organelles. The mechanisms by which mitochondria and chloroplasts divide were thought to be fundamentally different because chloroplasts use proteins derived from the ancestral prokaryotic cell division machinery, whereas mitochondria have largely evolved a division apparatus that lacks bacterial cell division components. Recent findings indicate, however, that both types of organelles universally require dynamin-related guanosine triphosphatases to divide. This mechanistic link provides fundamental insights into the molecular events driving the division, and possibly the evolution, of organelles in eukaryotes.

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Resource Type: Journal article/Issue, Image, Table, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Katherine Osteryoung of Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, Jodi Nunnari of Section of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California
Publisher: SCIENCE
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No


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