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Mitochondria: Origin

  1. Peter E Thorsness,
  2. Theodor Hanekamp

Published Online: 22 JUL 2003

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001381



How to Cite

Thorsness, P. E. and Hanekamp, T. 2003. Mitochondria: Origin. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 22 JUL 2003


Mitochondria are double-membrane cellular organelles containing their own genetic system and are found in nearly every eukaryotic cell. The endosymbiotic hypothesis postulates that a proto-mitochondrion, an ancestor of present-day bacteria, colonized a eukaryotic cell and established a symbiotic relationship to the mutual benefit of both organisms.


  • mitochondrial genome;
  • origins and evolution of mitochondria