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Randall Flagg

Even after reading the original article, I don't think I do understand the difference between these and organelles? Aside from "prokaryotes aren't supposed to have them." (...so they promptly turn around and have some, just to show the futility of taxonomic rules in microorganisms.) If these get proclaimed a species, does that mean mitochondria are ("Still?") as well?

Gotta love organisms that break the rules.

You correctly point out the problem with trying to neatly distinguish bacterial endosymbionts and organelles. One could argue that the two look different in EM thin sections or in other ways, but not enough work has been done to make this into a serviceable distinction. I see two possibilities: A. the two will turn out to be distinct by some set of criteria yet to be fully worked out, or, B. there is a continuum from typical organelles to typical bacteria. At this time, I think it's up in the air. But we'll agree, won't we, that the subject is fascinating, right?

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