Scientists Discover Henneguya Salminicola, A Life Form That Lives Without Oxygen

Science

Scientists have recently discovered a parasite dubbed as Henneguya Salminicola on earth, is known for having evolved into an animal that lives without oxygen

Written By Gunjan Shah | Mumbai | Updated On:
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Everyone knows that all the life forms of the earth breath oxygen and convert it into energy to power the body functions that keep us from dying. However, it has been recently reported that researchers have found an animal that survives without breathing oxygen like the other creature on earth. Here is everything that is known about this newly found creature that lives without oxygen.

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Henneguya Salminicola is an animal that lives without breathing oxygen

First discovered by Tel Aviv University, this new parasite is less than ten-celled, and is found in a muscle on salmon. The animal is called Henneguya Salminicola and it is a myxozoan relative of jellyfish and corals. The parasite is known to have quit breathing oxygen and produce energy as it has evolved.

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According to Professor Dorothee Huchon of the School of Zoology at Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Life Sciences and Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, just like in other creatures, aerobic respiration was thought to be present in all animals. However, now it has been confirmed that it is not the case with all the animals. She mentioned that the discovery is proof that evolution can go in strange directions. Dorothee Huchon said that aerobic respiration is a major source of energy, yet an animal was discovered that gave up this process.

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The discovery of Henneguya Salminicola’s anaerobic nature was accidental. While scientists at Tel Aviv University were trying to assemble the Henneguya genome, Huchon noticed that the creature is missing a mitochondrial genome. In case you do not recall, mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, where oxygen is stored to create energy. The non-existant mitochondria approved of the fact that Henneguya Salminicola was not breathing oxygen.

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According to Professor and Scientist Dorothee Huchon, the energy generation technique used by the parasite is still unclear. She also said that the parasite might be drawing energy from the surrounding fish cells, or using oxygen-free breathing or some similar anaerobic form of respiration. Dorothee Huchon also mentioned how it is generally seen that organisms become more complex as they evolve, and that single-celled or few-celled organisms are ancestors of complex organisms. However, an animal with an opposite life process has been discovered by scientists. Living in an oxygen-free environment, it has shed unnecessary genes that are responsible for aerobic respiration and has become an even simpler organism.

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