Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.
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I had a question about flagella and cilia. I wasn't sure what subheading this really went under, since it was about bacteria and eukaryotes. I was reading an article in Discover magazine, the interview with Lynn Margulis if any of you have read it. She seems to think Eukaryotic flagella and cilia are a product of a symbiotic relationship between bacteria and eukaryotes. Now I know she has a Ph.D and I only have a Bachelor's of Science, but just from what I remembered about eukaryotic flagella, that sounded wrong. I know that bacteria use a rotary molecular motor to move their flagella. (Cilia too I think) Eukaryotes do not use a rotary system, they use microtubules with dynein "arms" that cause the microtubules to slide against each other and make the flagella as a whole move. So I guess my question is, how similar are the genetics and mechanisms of bacterial and eukaryotic molecular motors, and does Dr. Margulis idea hold any water?
Last edited by IUAlum on Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
I think the idea is that flagella began as whole symbiotic spiral bacteria, rather than as bacteria flagella. I didn't think there was a lot of evidence to support the idea, but I've never actually read a paper or review of the subject.
Well, yeah, I get that it would be a whole bacteria, not just the flagella, but you'd think, if that was the case, the flagella of eukaryotes and bacteria would be quite similar. Spirochetes use a rotary molecular motor to power their flagella, same as all bacteria. I don't think there is a lot of evidence to support the idea either, I was just asking to see if someone more knowledgeable than I about flagella and cilia might be able to shed a bit more light on the subject.
Especially because, in the interview, Margulis dismisses the critics of her idea as "people who just don't want to think the flagella in there bodies came from bacteria". I know scientists are people, and they have human reactions, but that's a bit over the top. Most scientists I know would at least examine the evidence before giving a verdict one way or the other.
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
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