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Matt Hirsch

I'm a graduate student doing my thesis research on anammox bacteria (related to planctomycetes), so I've spent some time thinking about the membrane-bound 'organelles' in these organisms. Anammox bacteria have an organelle (the aptly named anammoxosome) where it is thought that the toxic intermediates (N2O and N2H4) which are present in anammox metabolism. Perhaps the 'nucleoid' was initally developed as another way to protect DNA from mutagens coming either from some prehistoric organism's own metabolism or from a harsh environment. van Niftrik et al. (JB 190:708-717) have some great micrographs and 3d models of 4 of the anammox genera (and some supplemental movies!)

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