Hydrogenosomes in the anaerobic fungus Neocallimastix frontalis have a double membrane but lack an associated organelle genome

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Abstract

The presence of hydrogenosomes in phylogenetically distinct anaerobic eukaryotes implies that they have been acquired independently, and previously reported differences in ultrastructure among tars have suggested that some hydrogenosomes have different origins. Of particular interest are reports that Neocallimastix frontalis hydrogenosomes resemble microbodies in possessing a single membrane, in contrast to those in ciliates and trichomonads which have two and thus resemble mitochondria. In tills investigation we have clearly demonstrated that N. frontalis hydrogenosomes possess two, rather than one, closely apposed membranes and in some preparations cristae-like structures were observed. These observations have led us to reject the microbody hypothesis and provide some indirect support for a possible mitochondrion origin as proposed for other hydrogenosomes. N. frontalis hydrogenosomes were shown to lack an associated genome as previously demonstrated for trichomonad hydrogenosomes. This might be explained by assuming that a mitochondrial genome encoding proteins for aerobic function is no longer necessary for either organelle.

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Van Der Giezen, M., Sjollema, K. A., Artz, R. R. E., Alkema, W., & Prins, R. A. (1997). Hydrogenosomes in the anaerobic fungus Neocallimastix frontalis have a double membrane but lack an associated organelle genome. FEBS Letters, 408(2), 147ā€“150. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0014-5793(97)00409-2

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