Special Biochemistry Seminar
Evolution has produced many different forms of mitochondria across the eukaryotic tree of life. Some of the simplest mitochondria can be found in the anaerobic eukaryote Giardia lamblia. These extremely adapted organelles have lost the mitochondrial genome, respiratory chain, and ATP production and have become a cellular compartment specialized exclusively for the synthesis of Fe-S clusters, cofactors of proteins in the cell nucleus and cytosol.
Although Giardia is one of the most common parasites of humans, affecting up to 7% of the population, the introduction of CRISPR/Cas9 genetic tools has made it an excellent experimental model for studying the evolution of the eukaryotic cell and its adaptation to anaerobiosis and parasitism.