Mitochondria: power generation for cells
All cellular activity requires energy, it is through mitochondria that this energy necessary for cell activity will be generated.
How Mitochondria Works
To get energy, the cell necessarily needs glucose. Mitochondria have the function of breaking down glucose by introducing oxygen into carbon, what remains is carbon dioxide, which will come out through exhalation.
This process performed by this important cellular organelle is known as cellular respiration. In order for cells to perform their functions normally, they depend on various chemical reactions that occur within the mitochondria.
Despite its great importance, mitochondria is a fairly small cell organelle. There are cells that have a large number of mitochondria, however, the amount of this organelle will depend on the function of each one.
The more the cell needs energy to perform its vital functions, the more mitochondria it will produce.
Regarding its structure, in simplified form we can say that the mitochondria has two membranes (one external and one internal). Many of the chemical reactions occur in its inner membrane. The outer membrane has the function of lining and supporting its organelles.
Curiosities about mitochondria:
- Mitochondria are also found in plant cells.
- Mitochondria can only be visualized with the aid of a professional microscope, as they have small dimensions (average 0.003mm).
- Mitochondria are not found in bacteria cells and blue algae.
- The word mitochondria is of Greek origin, where "myths" means line and "chondrion" means granule.
- Mitochondria are present in larger amounts in the cells of the muscles, heart and nervous system, as they require a large amount of energy.