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Little Mito

The Story of Where He Came From

Co Authors:

Stephanie Vail
School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
University at Buffalo

Clyde Freeman Herreid
Department of Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo


This case presents a fanciful story about the origin of the eukaryotic cell, a major milestone in the evolution of life. The characters of the story are Mito, Chlora, Flag, ER, Nuc, Golgi, Ves, and Ly, all members of an extended cellular family. Written for college and high school introductory biology classes, students learn about cellular structure and functions in addition to the two major theories for the rise of the eukaryotic cell.

  • To learn the major functions of some of the cell organelles.
  • To learn the relative merits of the two major hypotheses for the origin of the eukaryotic cell and understand the evidence supporting each.
Keywords: Eukaryote; eukaryotic; eukaryotic evolution; cell; organelle; endosymbiotic; autogenic; mitochondria; parasite; parasitic
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Directed
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Cell Biology   Evolutionary Biology  
Date Posted: 01/07/02
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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Perfect! I often tell a story about a large Italian family when I talk about DNA. The dad is the boss the DNA. There are his 4 daughters and one cousin...then 3 sons who work hard moving things and arranging everyone.

Janet Kaehms
Science Teacher
Dublin High School
Dubliin, CA

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