Skip to content

{ Category Archives } reviews

Mass migration of a group I intron: promiscuity on a grand scale (Gray, 1998)

This article from Michael Gray gives some background information about the group I introns. The title is interesting since any engineer should be reluctant to accept mass migrations of DNA. Let’s also see what he means by ‘promiscuity’, a teleological term not fit for evolutionary science because it implies intent. The concept of homing is […]

Anaerobic protists and hidden mitochondria (Yarlett, 2004)

This review article is part of an entire issue dedicated to anaerobic protists. As an evolutionists, I don’t like the terms ‘opportunistic protists’ they use and ‘remnant mitochondria’ because the first is anthropomorph and teleological and the second implies that they once were mitochondria, which is far from proven (I think it is just plain […]

The missing link between hydrogenosomes and mitochondria (Martin, 2005)

 This article argues that hydrogenosomes are derived from mitochondria. I don’t see anaerobic organisms as oxygen-’shunning’ and also not that without a doubt htey are mitochondria in the endosymbiotic sense. In the eukaryotic sense, yes. He seems to see the presence of DNA per se as good evidence for a derived mitochondrion, whereas in my opinion it […]

Hydrogenosomes: convergent adaptations of mitochondria to anaerobic environments (Hackstein et al., 2001)

This article from Johannes Hackstein (who did the genetics course in my first year of university, btw) is based on two assumptions that are taken for granted but with which I disagree. The first is the view that the anaerobic protists have adapted to this lyfestyle, while I think that they are representatives of a pre-aerobic world and […]

The origin and early evolution of mitochondria (Gray et al., 2001)

This review gives good insight in mainstream theories about mitochondrial evolution. There are a lot of examples that argue for a eukaryotic origin, although differently explained here. It still strikes me how easily organisms are classified into derived or ancient. Interesting examples on the jakobids, that have the largest genome and which contains all other […]

Plant mitochondrial dynamics (Logan, 2006)

Another recent review from Logan with an emphasis on evolution of the mitochondrial division apparatus. It is full of the usual assumptions and deductions derived from the endosymbiotic theory, and difficult to grasp what is really observed and what are the speculations.
The next paragraph shows that we would have expected bacterial division proteins but they […]

The mitochondrial compartment (Logan, 2006)

This review article focuses on compartmentalization and the requirements from an energy-generating perspective. It is clear that many conformations exist in different cell types and within development, and it is the nucleus that seems to orchestrate the different roles the mitochondrion can play.
The role of the mitochondrion in the synthesis of ATP formed by oxidative […]

A briefly argued case that mitochondria and plastids are descendants of endosymbionts, but that the nuclear compartment is not (Martin, 1999)

This article gives an overview of some of the hypotheses around. The tendentious language is clear, for dr. Martin there is only one theory.
Abstract: Recent findings are summarized in support of the view that mitochondria (including hydrogenosomes) and plastids (including complex ones) descend from symbiotic associations of once free-living organisms. The reasoning behind endosymbiotic hypotheses […]

Opening the door to mitochondrial protein import (Jensen and Johnson, 2001)

This article reviews a report about one of the TIM proteins, but also gives a nice overview of the issues regarding import.
Abstract: After reconstitution into liposomes, Tim23p, a mitochondrial inner membrane protein required for protein import, forms an aqueous pore that is activated by a transmembrane potential and mitochondrial targeting peptides. A report in this […]

Mitochondrial Protein Import:Convergent Solutions for Receptor Structure (Lister and Whelan 2006)

This article summarizes recent research in which it was claimed that mitochondrial import proteins evolved separately in different lineages and therefore present an elegant example of convergent evolution. Intersting results though from Perry et al.
Abstract. Complex machinery has evolved to recognise and import nuclear-encoded proteins into mitochondria. Recent work now shows that the plant Tom20 […]