Mitochondria: Powerplant of the Cell

Mitochondria are the organelles found in the cytoplasm of all the eukaryotic cells. These are often known as the power house of the cell as they provide energy to the cells. The primary function of mitochondria is to perform cellular respiration. When a cell respires, the energy is produced in the form of ATP by mitochondria. Full form of ATP is adenosine tri-phosphate. It is in oval, or round shape and its size varies from 0.5 to 10 m. It has a smooth outer covering and an inner membrane which is folded. The inner membrane is folded to increase the surface area, by increasing the surface area, a large amount of energy can be generated. Nerve cells and muscle cells need a lot of energy hence they consist of a large number of mitochondria.

The mitochondrion consists of an outer and an inner membrane which is made up of phospholipid bilayers and proteins. The outer membrane of mitochondria is a freely permeable membrane which allows small molecules to pass through it. It consists of special channels which help it in transporting large molecules.

The central point about mitochondria is that it behaves like a cell on its own. It has characteristics similar to that of bacteria, i.e., it can replicate on its own and even divide on its own. It has a small amount of genetic material known as DNA in it and is present in the X cell from the mother. It is not present in the sperm cell of the father. So we, our mother, and grandmothers have the same mitochondrial DNA.


This was just a quick layout about mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell. To know more in detail kindly visit BYJUS. To visualize the concept and to know the structure of mitochondria more clearly watch the video.

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