part of a plant
Abb.1: Model of ATP-synthesis in hydrogenosomes.[1]
abb.: CoA = Coenzyme A

A hydrogenosome is a membrane-enclosed organelle of some anaerobic ciliates, trichomonads, fungi and a few metazoa. The hydrogenosomes of trichomonads (the best studied) produce ATP by a complex metabolic cycle. Unlike mitochondria, this cycle does not use oxygen. It is thought that hydrogenosomes evolved from mitochondria; their structure is rather similar.

In 2010, scientists reported their discovery of the first known anaerobic metazoans with hydrogenosome-like organelles.[2] These organisms were Loricifera living in sediments under deep-water brine pools like the L'Atalante basin. These brine pools are completely without any oxygen (anoxic).


  1. Müller M, Lindmark DG (February 1978). "Respiration of hydrogenosomes of Tritrichomonas foetus. II. Effect of CoA on pyruvate oxidation". J. Biol. Chem. 253 (4): 1215–8. PMID 624726.
  2. Danovaro R; et al. (April 2010). "The first metazoa living in permanently anoxic conditions". BMC Biol. 8 (1): 30. doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-30. PMC 2907586. PMID 20370908.