One of the missing links between complex organisms unicellular eukaryotes and prokaryotes explains and gives answer to the biggest question in humanity, the origin of life itself, of the existence of individuals.
Scientists discovered in the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean last year ‘Lokiarchaeum’, a missing link between eukaryotes and prokaryotes, an organism that could answer how the first cells with nuclei and mitochondria arose.
Eukaryotic organisms are a huge group of living organisms made of cells with a true nucleus, their number may be equal to or greater than the reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods hominids; It is thought that these micro organisms eukaryotes are the result of the symbiosis of bacteria and archaea (single-celled microorganisms coreless or membranous organelles and biochemical characteristics own). However, a new study led by Gautam Dey, of University College London, and published in ‘Trends in Cell Biology’ suggests that the emergence of life was the result of a long process of interaction between them. “We’re starting to think eukaryotic origins as a slow process of growth in intimacy, the result of a long, slow dance between the kingdoms and not a quick meeting, which is the way it is portrayed in textbooks” says Dr. Mukund Thattai, the National Center for Biological Sciences in India, co-author of the study. The differences between eukaryotic cells and prokaryotes unicellular organisms, bacteria and arques show that the origin of life was the result of this interaction between these micro organisms with large biological differences.
Scientists believe that eukaryotes are the result of the symbiosis of archaea, who played the role of host cell, and bacteria that gave rise to mitochondria. However, there was a major problem: there was no intermediate link, a bridge able to bridge the gap between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, very different sizes and degrees of complexity. So the origin of the first eukaryotic cell is considered “one of the most enduring mysteries in modern biology.”
One hypothesis says that the similarity between the ‘Lokiarchaeum’ eukaryotes and prokaryotes means that these bacteria could be absorbed using phagocytosis and as a result get symbionts, which later would become mitochondria. However, it is possible that the ‘Lokiarchaeum’ is an organism whose genes ‘eukaryotic’ undertake regulatory functions and is not involved in phagocytosis. Thus these organisms are at the beginning of transformation in the nucleated cells. Gradually van ‘building’ a eukaryotic architecture by exchanging genes with bacteria. In other words, in this case it would be a cooperation between bacteria and archaea and no absorption by a bacteria ‘Lokiarchaeum’.
The Dey and Thattai scientists and another co-author of the University College London, Buzz Baum, support the version of the “long and slow dance.” That is, they believe that the ‘Lokiarchaeum’ is not proeucariota, but a bow. It is not known exactly which of these versions can be the true origin of life, which if clear is that emerged from these microorganisms either in the absorption of bacteria by eukaryotic microorganisms or a long, slow dance interaction between these.
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