Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Viruses and the Genesis of Eukaryotes

In On The Origin of Collectives -- Bacterial Evolution, the low motility of bounded communities led to cooperation with neighbors, metabolic specialization among species, and reproductive controls.

These same properties are crucial to eukaryote cells with organelles and endosymbionts. The cellular membrane provides the boundary.

What are the essential properties of viruses?

Eukaryotes make use of a number of self-assembling radially-symmetric proteins in the construction of their flagellum, cilium, mitotic spindles, centrioles, and cytoskeletons.

Bacteriophage M13 Viruses and Bacteria -- Flagellum explained how filamentous viruses evolve into flagella.

Mitosis in eukaryotes involves the self-assembling mitotic spindles piercing the nuclear membrane to connect with the chromosomes. Again, not much of a stretch for viral-derived proteins.

In eukaryotes it would seem likely that the spindles or their progenitors were responsible for moving some DNA from organelles to the nucleus.

Copyright © 2003 Aubrey Jaffer

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