Lynn Petra Alexander Sagan Margulis (1938-2011)
AuthorHaskett, Dorothy Regan
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Lynn Petra Alexander Sagan Margulis was an American biologist, whose work in the mid-twentieth century focused on cells living together in a mutually advantageous relationship, studied cells and mitochondria in the US during the second half of the twentieth century. She developed a theory for the origin of eukaryotic cells, that proposed two kinds of structures found in eukaryotic cells mitochondria in animals, and plastids in plantsÑwere once free-living bacteria that lived harmoniously and in close proximity to larger cells, a scenario called symbiosis. Margulis proposed that the larger cells eventually engulfed the free-living bacteria, resulting in cells living inside other cells, a situation called endosymbiosis. Margulis'theory became called the serial endosymbiosis theory (SET). Her work contributed to explanations of the evolution and development of life, as eukaryotic cells comprise most multicellular organisms, including their embryos.