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Mitochondria

Definition

noun, singular: mitochondrion

Spherical or rod-shaped organelles found within the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells, and are referred to as the “powerhouse of the cell since they act as the site for the production of high-energy compounds (e.g. ATP), which are vital energy source for several cellular processes.


Supplement

They produce large amounts of energy through oxidative phosphorylation of organic molecules during cellular respiration. That is, they are capable of using glucose and oxygen to produce energy (and releasing carbon dioxide and water in the process) for use in many metabolic processes. Thus, it is not surprising to find several mitochondria in high energy-requiring cells, such as muscle cells.

They are semi-autonomous, self-reproducing organelles because they contain their own genome. In fact, their DNA has become an important tool in tracking genetic histories since their genetic material is present in only one copy, and does not recombine in reproduction.

According to the endosymbiotic theory, mitochondria might have been the remnants of early bacteria engulfed by ancient eukaryotic cells a billion years ago that might have evolved and become energy-yielding structures within eukaryotic cells at present.


Word origin: from Gk. mitos - thread + khondrion - little granule.
Related forms: mitochondrial (adjective).
Also known as: chondriosome.
See also: cellular respiration, ATP.


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A question about what living organisms are made up of.

Another question for you. JackBean, do you know who made the theory about the first life, or first mitochondria, and when it was made? Thanks

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by Anonymous99
Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:30 pm
 
Forum: Molecular Biology
Topic: A question about what living organisms are made up of.
Replies: 8
Views: 461

Who made the theory about how the first cell came to be?

I'm wondering if anyone knows who made the theory about how the first cell or mitochondria came to be? I mean the theory that the first cell or mitochondria was made by chemical processes and other natural phenomenon. Does anyone has his or her name, and perhaps ...

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by Anonymous99
Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:42 pm
 
Forum: Molecular Biology
Topic: Who made the theory about how the first cell came to be?
Replies: 0
Views: 68

Newbie question about the first life

piscilactovegetarian: Who made this theory about how the first cell or mitochondria came to be? If i may ask? Thanks

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by Anonymous99
Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:58 am
 
Forum: Molecular Biology
Topic: Newbie question about the first life
Replies: 14
Views: 710

Newbie question about the first life

... the ancestors of the cell , but they show the complex chemical interactions that could've led to the formation of the first cell. More about the mitochondria: there are two theories about their presence in cells. One of them says that the first host that "swallowed" one was a eukaryotic ...

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by piscilactovegetarian
Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:10 am
 
Forum: Molecular Biology
Topic: Newbie question about the first life
Replies: 14
Views: 710

Newbie question about the first life

... (that's the plural, the singular being "bacterium"). They are prokaryotic cells (they lack a nucleus). This type of simpler cell has no mitochondria (plural [singular: "mitochondrion"]). Then came the eucharyotic cells (nucleus-bearing cells), which do have them. I seem to ...

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by piscilactovegetarian
Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:21 am
 
Forum: Molecular Biology
Topic: Newbie question about the first life
Replies: 14
Views: 710
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