Time to recognise that mitochondria are bacteria?

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The scientific community is comfortable with recognising mitochondria as organelles that happen to be descendants of bacteria. Here, I playfully explore the arguments for and against a phylogenetic fundamentalism that states that mitochondria are bacteria and should be given their own taxonomic family, the Mitochondriaceae. I also explore the consequences of recognizing mitochondria as bacteria for our understanding of the systemic response to trauma and for the prospects of creating transgenic mitochondria.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011