Mitochondria and Chloroplasts 


-the sites of cellular respiration, the catabolic process that generates ATP by extracting energy from sugars, fats, and other fuels with the help of oxygen.
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Sugar glucose structure diagram.
Sugar glucose structure diagram.
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can be described as a large wrinkled bag inside a smaller, unrinkled one. The two membranes create distinct compartments within the organelle, and each one preforms a different function and has a different structure.
The outer membrane is a simple phospholipid bilayer containing proteins called porins. The inside membrane, is way more complex. It is freely permeable to oxygen, water and carbon dioxide. It contains the ATP. Each wrinkle is organized into layers, called cristae. The matrix contains enzymes which are responsible for citric acid cycle reactions. Also in the matrix are dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide and water that serve as energy shuttles.
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The fucion of the mitochondria is to produce energy for the cell, in the form of ATP.

How the functionof Mitochondria contributes to the cell as a whole:

It acts like a digestive system that takes in nutrients, and breaks them down to produce energy. The amount of mitochondria in a cell depends on how much energy each cell needs. For example a nerve cell doesnt require as much enery as a muscle cell, which needs loads of energy. Without a mitochondria in a cell, energy could not be created and the cell would not function. So this organelle is very, very important for the survival of the cell.

Other Mitochondria Links:


Mitochondria Structure

If you would like to test your knowledge on the mitochondria, take this quick quiz. Mitochondria Quiz


-the sites of photosynthesis; found only in plants and eukaryotic algae.


The chloroplast is a type of plastid; plastids are closely related plant organelles. Chloroplasts consist of an envelope of two membranes: an inner and an outer phospholipid membrane. These two layers are seperated by a very narrow intermediate space. The inner membrane encloses a dense fluid called stroma. The stroma surrounds a third compartment, delineated by its own membrane: flattened sacs called thylakoids. Throughout the chloroplast, thylakoid sacs are stacked like poker chips to form structures called grana. Grana are connected by thin tubules called stroma lamellae between individual thylakoids. Inside thylakoids are empty soaces called thylkoid lumen. The thylakoid membranes contain the green pigment chlorophyll.

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Chloroplasts are like tiny energy factories; they convert solar energy to chemical energy by absorbing sunlight and using it to drive the synthesis of organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water. They also reduce NADP to NADPH. In other words, their main function is photosynthesis. Using chlorophyll in the photosynthesis process, chloroplasts convert the solar energy into a storable form in ordered sugar molecules, like glucose. In this way, carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil that's in a more disordered state are then combined to form the more ordered sugar molecules. Thye thylakoids are used to trap the energy from sunlight. These sugar molecules are used for energy and are an important food source for the whole cell and organism. Chloroplasts alo synthesize amino acids, atty acids, and the lipid contained in hir own membranes.

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How the functon of chloroplasts contributes to the cell as a whole:

Basically, the chloroplast's act of photosynthesis creates and stores energy; then respiration releases it, allowing the plant to take up water, build new cells and grow, and basically run all other growth processes. Also, when they convert solar energy into energy that can be stored such as in a sugar molecule, these molcues can be used throughout the whole cell and organism for energy, food, and fuel.

If you would like to test your knowledge on the chloroplast, clik on the following link to take a quick quiz:

Similarities and Differences

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  • Both are main energy transformers of cells
  • Both generate ATP
  • Both are bound by a double membrane
  • Both have their own DNA and ribosomes

  • chloroplast contains thylakoid membranes and pigment molecules
  • mitochondria membranes contain respiratory enzymes not found in chloroplast membranes
  • chloroplasts are only found in plant and eukaryotic algae cells
  • mitochondria ae found in both plant an animal cells
  • cloroplasts help in photosynthesis
  • chloroplasts are larger and more complex
  • chloroplasts have several important functions to perform besides the generation of ATP

Work Cited