The emergence of eukaryotes

From the enormous variety of primordial cells (prokaryotes) a eukaryotic cell probably originated once. That cell had a separate cell nucleus and also other organelles, such as mitochondria that regulate cell respiration. This one cell is the ancestor of all the life we can see around us: trees, plants, insects, animals and therefore also us humans.

The emergence of eukaryotes

Eukaryotes have a cell that is much larger and classified differently than the prokaryotic primordial cells. Among other things, they have a cell nucleus in which the hereditary material is stored. Some cells can propel themselves. The new functions of these cells also made their DNA larger. 

Research into the development of eukaryotes from prokaryotes is difficult because few intermediate steps are known, and the range of potential prokaryotic predecessors is large. Computer models offer a solution to better understand the possible steps that led to the first eukaryotic. These models may support the idea that the emergence of eukaryotes was a rare, one-time event.


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