11 Apr 2022


The Endosymbiotic Theory – Chloroplasts and Mitochondria

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Coursework

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1. Describe the endosymbiotic theory as proposed by Lynn Margulis in general terms

In 1960’s Lynn Margulis proposed the endosymbiotic theory in her endeavors to explain the origin of eukaryotic cells like mitochondria and chloroplasts. As Lynn Margulis was performing her research on the origin of eukaryotic cells, she proposed that “endosymbiosis” was the best method that could be used to explain the appearance of prokaryotes and eukaryotes in the fossil records as well as their similarities. In her original hypothesis, Lynn Margulis proposed that mitochondria and chloroplasts are the results of endocytosis of aerobic bacteria and endocytosis of photosynthetic bacteria respectively. In both cases, anaerobic bacteria would not exist in aerobic environment, and therefore, this phenomenon created a mutual benefit relationship for both cells (symbiotic) 

2. Describe what chloroplasts and mitochondria produce in eukaryotic cells (the specific chemical that is produced by electron transport systems in both cases)

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Mitochondria are considered to have originated from proteobacteria and chloroplasts from cyanobacteria in a process referred to as endosymbiosis. During a series of reactions known as Krebs cycle, mitochondria produce a chemical known as NADH, which is then utilized in the generation of ATP. During the process of photosynthesis, chloroplasts produce two chemicals, namely adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) 

3. Provide three details from cell biology that support the theory

First, mitochondria and aerobic bacteria have similar characteristics in that they both utilize oxygen to produce ATP, whereby they both use Kreb's Cycle for the energy production. Second, the two organelles, chloroplasts and mitochondria, have sizes that are almost similar to that of bacteria. Third evidence for the endosymbiotic theory is that both chloroplasts and mitochondria have double phospholipid bilayers just like aerobic bacteria and photosynthetic bacteria. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). The Endosymbiotic Theory – Chloroplasts and Mitochondria.


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