Structure and Function of Mitochondria

Topics: Eukaryote, Cell, Organelle Pages: 4 (884 words) Published: May 4, 2013
Energy in an utilizable form is something essential for the functioning of any organism. Mitochondria and Chloroplasts are the two primary organelles in eukaryotic cells that involve in the transformation of energy, thus in production and consumption respectively. The chloroplast is an organelle present only in plant cells and some prokaryotes. At the same time they are absent in animal cells. It’s through the chloroplast that entry of energy to a cell takes place where sunlight is used to trap and convert carbon to sugar, which is basically chemical energy that is utilizable by plant cells. Meanwhile, the mitochondrion is an organelle that is present in plant cells and animal cells as well. Here, energy is trapped in the form of sugar by photosynthesis and is converted to a form that is more conveniently utilizable to the cell. Both the chloroplast and the mitochondria contain number of membranes in which most of the reactions of conversion of energy occur and both the organelles are believed to have arisen from a common origin. To add to the similarities are the facts like containing their own DNA that loops around like that of bacteria and manufacturing many of their own proteins. The fact that both the organelles reproduce by binary fission can also be mentioned. Besides the similarities between the two organelles, notable differences are present in their structure and function that could be stated as follows:   Chloroplasts and mitochondria both have number of different membranes where most of the energy conversion reactions take place. But there are some membranes in the chloroplast that contain some crucial components not found in the mitochondrial membrane, namely the photosystems. Further, the chloroplast generates O2 and carbohydrate, whereas the mitochondrion consumes them. Clarifying further, mitochondria uses glucose (a carbohydrate) and oxygen as its reactants while the chloroplast uses water and carbon dioxide as its reactants. And a...
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