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The origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts

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The origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts
Mitochondria and chloroplasts likely evolved from engulfed prokaryotes that once lived as independent organisms. At some point, a eukaryotic cell engulfed an aerobic prokaryote, which then formed an endosymbiotic relationship with the host eukaryote, gradually developing into a mitochondrion. Eukaryotic cells containing mitochondria then engulfed photosynthetic prokaryotes, which evolved to become specialized chloroplast organelles.

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Eukaryotic cells are more complex than prokaryotic ones because of specialized organelles. Learn how ancient collaborations between cells gave eukaryotes an important energy boost.
All cells evolved from a common ancestor and use the same kinds of carbon-based molecules. Learn how cell function depends on a diverse group of nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and sugars.
Plant cells have some specialized properties that make them distinct from animal cells. Learn how special structures, such as chloroplasts and cell walls, create this distinction.


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