A Conversation for Photosynthesis
Mitochondria are NOT plastids
dops7107 Started conversation May 15, 2005
Mitochondria and chloroplasts are distinct entities within the plant cell. Animal cells have mitochondria but no chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are a type of plastid, as are chromoplasts (containing the red pigments in tomatoes) and amyloplasts (containing starch in potatoes and the like). The term "plastid" refers to this family of interconvertible organelles, which does NOT include mitochondria.
Mitochondria and chloroplasts arose during evolution as separate endosymbiotic events. Specifically, a eukaryote (mitochondria-containing cell) engulfed a photosynthetic bacterium: mitochondria came before plastids. The strongest evidence that the two types of organelle are not related is that they have different genomes.
Hope this clears this matter up! I study chloroplast development, so I like these dorts of errors to be highlighted...
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