The Endosymbiotic Theory

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The endosymbiotic idea (symbiogenesis) is an evolutionary theory that explains how eukaryotic cells originated from prokaryotic cells. The theory posits that the organelles that distinguish eukaryotic cells such as mitochondria and plastids have been formerly free-living prokaryotes, and they evolved via symbiosis after being engulfed, a process known as endosymbiosis. The principle is strongly supported by the fact that organelles resemble prokaryotic cells in numerous ways. For instance, the cell cannot generate new mitochondria and plastids, which are fashioned only through binary fission. Also, single round DNA molecules similar to those of micro organism can be found in mitochondria and plastids, as well as transport proteins recognised as porins, which can be found on the outer membranes of chloroplasts, mitochondria, and bacterial cell membranes.

DNA studies have also provided substantial evidence in support of the endosymbiotic theory. A comparison of genomes reveals a close relationship between mitochondria and bacteria, specifically Rickettsial bacteria. Also, genome comparisons show a close relationship between plastids and cyanobacteria. Endosymbiosis has been cited as one of the most important process that led to most of the modern diversity of living organisms. Endosymbiosis is believed to have taken place in phases, resulting to the photosynthetic and respiratory properties of prokaryotes being transferred to eukaryotic cells (McFadden, 951).

The Wikipedia page on the endosymbiotic theory provides vital information on the topic, although it has several shortcomings with regards to the quality of the information. First, the article has been created by several authors as the platform allows anyone to edit the content regardless of their level of knowledge on the subject. As such, it may not be a trusted source of information especially in the case of an academic paper. Second, the article has not been reviewed sufficiently to ascertain that the information contained is accurate. This is unlike other sources such as journal articles and books which undergo thorough review and editing before being published.

Also, the information from the Wikipedia article is not reliable, hence cannot be cited. Due to the fact that several anonymous people have contributed to writing the article, it is impossible to cite or credit any of the authors in an academic paper. Furthermore, one cannot cite the article as the information constantly changes. The Wikipedia article may also omit important information as it does not follow a specific structure required for a scientific paper. Without a standard structure, the article may fail to include relevant information that pertains to the topic.

The journal article “Primary and Secondary Endosymbiosis and the Origin of Plastids” by Geoffrey Ian McFadden provides a better source of information on the endosymbiotic theory compared to the Wikipedia article. First, the article has been peer-reviewed, so the information contained is accurate and reliable. In addition, the author of the article is a reliable source of information, given his expertise in the field and professional associations. This is in contrast to the Wikipedia article that does not provide details about the authors or their level of expertise in the field.

The journal article is also a good source for an academic paper as one can reference the information accurately. The information cannot change, and in case there occurs new developments on the topic, the author can write another paper with the updated findings. Also, the article has been published in a relevant journal (Journal of Phycology), indicating that the information is less likely to be inaccurate.

Work Cited

McFadden, Geoffrey Ian. “Primary and secondary endosymbiosis and the origin of plastids.” Journal of Phycology 37.6 (2001): 951-959. (

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