Dr. Nunnari explains that mitochondria are derived from prokaryotes and played a pivotal role in the evolution of eukaryotes. In an aerobic environment, mitochondria produce energy, in the form of ATP. This energy allowed eukaryotes to develop into complex cells and organisms. Mitochondria are also fascinating because they have retained their own genome and are dynamic organelles that communicate with other compartments in the eukaryotic cell.
Jodi Nunnari received her BA from the College of Wooster and her PhD from Vanderbilt University. She began her studies of mitochondria as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco in the lab of Peter Walter. Nunnari is currently a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of California, Davis… Continue Reading