3 years ago

Revisiting the theoretical basis of the endosymbiotic origin of plastids in the original context of Lynn Margulis on the origin of mitosing, eukaryotic cells

Revisiting the theoretical basis of the endosymbiotic origin of plastids in the original context of Lynn Margulis on the origin of mitosing, eukaryotic cells
Fifty years ago, Lynn Margulis proposed a comprehensive hypothesis on the origin of eukaryotic cells with an emphasis on the origin of mitosis. This hypothesis postulated that the eukaryotic cell is a composite of different parts as a result of the symbiosis of various different bacteria. In this hypothesis, she integrated previously proposed ideas that mitochondria and chloroplasts were descendants of endosymbionts that originated from aerobic bacteria and blue-green algae (now cyanobacteria), respectively. However, the major part of her hypothesis, which she believed to be original, was the origin of mitosis. The core of her postulate involved a chromosome partition mechanism dependent on DNA-microtubule binding, which originated from a hypothetical centriole-DNA complex, with an ability to replicate. Surprisingly, her complete lack of real experimental works in the cytoskeleton, cell motility, or paleontology did not prevent this 29-year-old junior scientist from assembling archival knowledge and constructing a narrative on the evolution of all organisms. Whether the centriole-DNA complex originated from a spirochete or not was a minor anecdote in this initial postulate. Unfortunately, this hypothesis on the origin of mitosis, which she believed to be a holistic unity, testable by experiments, was entirely refuted. Despite falsification of her original narrative as a whole, her success as a founder of endosymbiotic theory on the origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts is undoubted. We will discuss the reasons for her success in terms of the historical situation in the latter half of the 20th century.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022519317304022

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