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Important Facts For Prelims

Henneguya Salminicola

  • 27 Feb 2020
  • 1 min read
  • Scientists have discovered an animal Henneguya Salminicola which does not need oxygen to produce the energy needed for its survival.
  • It is a tiny, less than 10-celled parasite which lives in the muscles of salmon fish.
  • It does not not have a mitochondrial genome.
    • Mitochondria is the “powerhouse” of the cell, which captures oxygen to make energy.
    • Its absence indicates that the parasite does not breathe oxygen.
  • It is a relative of jellyfish and corals and as it evolved, it gave up breathing and consuming oxygen or became anaerobic to produce energy.
  • However, it is not yet clear how the parasite generates energy. It may be drawing it from the surrounding fish cells or it may have a different type of respiration such as oxygen-free breathing, which typically characterises anaerobic non-animal organisms like fungi, amoebas or ciliate lineages.
  • The discovery bears enormous significance for evolutionary research.
    • Aerobic respiration was thought to be prevalent in animals but now it is confirmed that animals can survive with anaerobic respiration.

Source: IE

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