By now you must have understood at least one thing – we are going to produce facts about each and every component of a cell – be it animal cell or a plant cell. We have already covered Cell Membrane facts and we have also covered Cytoplasm facts. It is now time to move on to other components of a cell. So, we have decided to start with Mitochondria facts. Mitochondria is popularly known as the POWERHOUSE of a cell. But why so? Let us find out! While we will obviously answer that question, we will also ponder on various other questions that are usually connected with this essential cell organelle. Let us begin…
|Name Mitochondria||Originated from two Greek words – Mitos and Chondros. Mitos means thread and Chondros means granule|
|Color||Brownish red – only part of cell that is colored|
|Size||0.5 micron to 1 micron in animal cells|
|Present In||Both Animal and Plant cells|
|Present In||All Eukaryotic cells|
|Genome||Mitochondria has it own Genome and DNA|
|mtDNA||Mitochondrial DNA is circular|
|Capability||Capable of self dividing when needed|
Interesting Mitochondria Facts: 1-5 | What is Mitochondria?
1. Mitochondria is an organelle present inside a cell. What type of cell? It is present in each and every Eukaryotic cell (eukaryotic cells are the ones that have a nucleus as opposed to prokaryotic cells that do not have a nucleus). Every cell in a body has Mitochondria.
2. Inside an Eukaryotic cell, the Mitochondria is found in the Cytoplasm. One thing you need to know is that the term ‘Mitochondria’ is actually plural. The singular is called ‘Mitochondrion’.
3. This brings us to a very important question. How many Mitochondria are present in a cell? Well, the number varies. The number of Mitochondria present in a cell is dictated by two factors – the type of organism in question and the type of tissue concerned.
4. For instance, complex organisms will have more Mitochondria in a cell compared to less complex organisms. Again a tissue in an organisms body will also define the number of Mitochondria present in each cell of the tissue. Not clear? Read on…
5. Mitochondria are known as powerhouses of a cells. They produce the energy that a cell requires to carry out the functions of a cell. So, if a tissue is designed to do extensive work (such as the muscle tissues in humans), the cells in the tissue will have more Mitochondria. So, just how many Mitochondria are present in a cell? The number can be as small as a single Mitochondrion in a cell to several thousand Mitochondria in a single cell.
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Interesting Mitochondria Facts: 6-10 | Structure of Mitochondria
6. Coming to structure of Mitochondria, these organelles have a complex structure. If you want to know the shape and size of Mitochondria, no one can give you a proper answer. This is because, Mitochondria can vary significantly in both shape and size.
7. But in general, Mitochondria are roughly oval in shape. However, it is interesting to know that irrespective of the shape and size, the overall makeup of the organelle remains the same. Each and every Mitochondrion possesses a double membrane.
8. The first layer of membrane – usually referred to as the Outer Membrane – is the protective layer that protects the innards of a Mitochondrion. Whether a Mitochondrion has a round blob-like appearance or whether it has the shape of a long rod, the outer membrane will be there. This outer membrane is smooth.
9. Inside the outer membrane, there is another membrane that is known as the Inner Membrane. This inner membrane is unique in the sense that it is not present in other cell organelles. And again, the inner membrane is wrinkled and folded. It actually folds over several times!
10. But why are these folds present in the first place? Why can’t the inner membrane be smooth like the outer membrane? Excellent question! Here is your answer: The folds are designed to increase the surface area.
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