Q:

What is the function of the mitochondrion?

A:

Quick Answer

A mitochondrion produces energy for a cell. Mitochondria (the plural of mitochondrion) are small organelles found in most nucleated cells, including those of plants, animals and fungi.

Know More
What is the function of the mitochondrion?
Credit: Science Picture Co Collection Mix: Subjects Getty Images

Full Answer

The primary mechanism by which mitochondria generate energy is through the manufacture of ATP. Standing for adenosine triphosphate, ATP stores energy in its chemical bonds. When the molecule’s bonds are broken, energy is released. ATP is often called the energy currency of an organism, because it can be used to power a wide variety of systems, regardless of the task to be completed.

Mitochondria have their own DNA that is different from that in the cell’s nucleus. Most scientists agree that this is evidence that mitochondria used to be free-living creatures. At some point in evolutionary history, these mitochondria started living inside more advanced cells. This symbiotic relationship benefits both the cell, which derives the energy produced by the mitochondria, and the mitochondria, which has a safe, suitable habitat in which to live.

Mitochondria are also found in plant cells, but they are not the only source of energy for plants. Plants also have chloroplasts which engage in photosynthesis, which provides most of the plant’s energy. Some scientists suspect that chloroplasts were also free living organisms that now live symbiotically within plant cells.

Learn more about Cells

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the main function of a muscle cell?

    A:

    The main function of muscle cells is to produce contractions of the muscle. Impulses are sent through the nervous system along the muscle cells and cause the muscle to contract.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of the cell body?

    A:

    The main function of the cell body of a neuron is to integrate synaptic information and transmit this information to other cells via the axon. The cell body also completes a variety of biochemical processes to keep the neuron functioning properly.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of a galvanic cell?

    A:

    The function of a galvanic cell is to produce electricity through an oxidation-reduction reaction. Galvanic cells are used in batteries to convert chemical energy to electrical energy. Another name for a galvanic cell is a voltaic cell.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of a muscle cell?

    A:

    The two main functions of a muscle cell are to produce movement through force and to maintain posture, according to Science360. They are frequently called muscle fibers because the length of a muscle cell is greater than the width.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore