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Thread: If we put Plastids in Human cells!

  1. #1 If we put Plastids in Human cells! 
    Forum Senior precious's Avatar
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    then, can we produce our own food in our bodies , like plants?


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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Do you mean plasmids?

    But if so, I have to ask, do you mean chloroplasts?

    But no, it isn't as simple as just introducing chloroplasts.


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  4. #3  
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    no plasmids.
    plastids, which cause photosynthesis.
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Do you mean plasmids?

    But if so, I have to ask, do you mean chloroplasts?

    But no, it isn't as simple as just introducing chloroplasts.
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    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    One of my favourite creatures is the green sea slug Elysia chloritica, nicknamed the "Solar-Powered Sea Slug". It does something called kleptoplasty - stealing chloroplasts from the algae that it feeds upon. As well as providing camouflage for the slug the chloroplasts can provide enough carbon compounds to sustain the slug when food is scarce.





    It is able to keep the chloroplasts alive for months within the cells of the its digestive system. It can do this (one hypothesis, anyway) because the slug is thought to contain some algal genes that have somehow gotten into the slug genome - perhaps being carried there by a virus.


    Also some humans do in fact harbour plastids within their cells. Indeed, most of us probably do considering how many of us are infected with Toxoplasma. These parasites, as well as Plasmodium sp. which cause malaria, have a plastid known as the apicoplast. It's not photosynthetic, however.

    Toxoplasma gondii:

    Last edited by Zwirko; November 22nd, 2011 at 01:46 PM.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    This paper sounds interesting: Uptake of Isolated Chloroplasts by Mammalian Cells:

    Abstract:

    "Mouse fibroblasts (L cells) in suspension culture incorporated isolated chloroplasts of spinach and African violets and isolated mitochondria of chicken liver. The organelles resided in the cell cytoplasm and were not contained in vacuoles or digestion vesicles. Green cells divided like normal cells. Green chloroplasts were followed for five cell generations or 5 days, at which time hybrid cells were greatly outnumbered by nongreen progeny cells. The ingested chloroplasts retained their structural integrity as determined by electron microscopy of organelles and hybrid cells and by analysis of photochemical activity and DNA in chloroplasts reisolated from cells after 1 or 2 days in culture."

    About the closest example I've been able to come up with so far.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko View Post
    One of my favourite creatures is the green sea slug Elysia chloritica, nicknamed the "Solar-Powered Sea Slug". It does something called kleptoplasty - stealing chloroplasts from the algae that it feeds upon. As well as providing camouflage for the slug the chloroplasts can provide enough carbon compounds to sustain the slug when food is scarce.





    It is able to keep the chloroplasts alive for months within the cells of the its digestive system. It can do this (one hypothesis, anyway) because the slug is thought to contain some algal genes that have somehow gotten into the slug genome - perhaps being carried there by a virus.


    Also some humans do in fact harbour plastids within their cells. Indeed, most of us probably do considering how many of us are infected with Toxoplasma. These parasites, as well as Plasmodium sp. which cause malaria, have a plastid known as the apicoplast. It's not photosynthetic, however.

    Toxoplasma gondii:

    Verily, in this case the saying is true,"You are what you eat." Prince recalls that other nudibranchs which dine on jellyfish that are armed with venomous stinging cells can appropriate this defense as well. Fascinating.

    There is also the case of the protist Euglena, motile, but possessing chlorophyll-containing organelles, not so?

    Euglena - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.- Thucydides
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