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Chloroplasts as organisms

  1. Mar 20, 2010 #1
    I know that most people believe that chloroplasts and mitochondria evolved in eukaryotic cells by endosymbiosis, but has there been any push (or even any discussion) on whether they should actually be considered independent organisms living in symbiosis with the cell?

    They fulfill most (if not all) the criteria for a "living thing."

    My efforts at research through google ran up against a brick wall since the keywords I thought of all led me to the endosymbiosis theory itself rather than the question of classification.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2010 #2
    They are not considered living organisms in present cells because they lost a lot of genes necessary to survive independently and need host proteins to perform functions for them
  4. Mar 20, 2010 #3
    Thanks, but I was under the impression that the ability to survive independently was not required so long as the entity could undergo metabolism (at all)...aren't there several bacteria that require this type of help as well?
  5. Mar 20, 2010 #4
    well thats an interesting way of putting it. if you really want to hit that gray area then yeah, think of them that way.
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