endosymbiotic theory

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endosymbiotic theory

n.
A theory stating that the eukaryotes evolved through a process whereby different types of free-living prokaryotes became incorporated inside larger prokaryotic cells and eventually developed into mitochondria, chloroplasts, and possibly other organelles.
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The recognition of the nature of endogenous oxidants can thus recast the endosymbiont hypothesis in terms of a framework of intercellular conflict and benefits.
Margulis' refurbished version of the endosymbiont hypothesis emphasized the dual genetic inheritance of most eukaryotes, but fudged the issue of whether endosymbiosis was the sine qua non of the eukaryotic condition (3).