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Structure and Function of Mitochondria

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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.

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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 functional difference that could be stated is that the mitochondria convert energy from chemical fuels, while chloroplasts convert energy from sunlight. Also, there is the fact that the electron-motive force generated by the chloroplast photosystems drives electron transfer in the direction opposite to that in mitochondria. If mitochondria does not function properly Mitochondria, one of the most essential organelle in the cell is basically esponsible of creating the majority of the energy required for all functions of a cell and in fact for the function of the body as a whole. Failure of proper function of mitochondria results in mitochondrial diseases which lead to severe effect to many of the body organs and organ systems. Especially organs like the brain, heart, liver, skeletal muscles and kidneys which utilize more energy, are susceptible to the risk of deterioration of their respective functions due to defects in their mitochondria. Mitochondrial diseases can be usually identified using the following symptoms: * poor growth muscle weakness, poor coordination * sensory problems * reduced mental functions * disease of the organ like heart, liver * dementia * respiratory problems * hypoglycaemia * apnoea * lactic acidosis * seizures * gastro-intestinal disorders and swallowing difficulties * developmental delays * movement disorders like dystonia, muscle spasms, tremors, chorea * stroke * diabetes * brain atrophy Under no circumstances should the above mentioned symptoms be ignored, since these are indicative of a possible mitochondrial disease.

Unfortunately, up to date, there is no permanent cure for mitochondrial diseases, but the condition is manageable with special diets and a combination of vitamins. Thus, mentioned above are the consequences of malfunctioning of the mitochondria. Chloroplasts don’t exist in animal cells while mitochondria are present in all eukaryotic cells;/a  The chloroplast membrane contains some crucial components not found in the mitochondrial membrane namely the photosystems /b The chloroplast generates O2 and carbohydrate, whereas the mitochondrion consumes them, thus are opposite in their primary function. b A functional difference that could be stet4e Mitochondria, converts energy from chemical fuels, while chloroplasts convert energy from sunlight /b Theelectron-motive force generated by the chloroplast photosystems drives electron transfer in the direction opposite to that in mitochondria: electrons are taken from water to produce O2, and they are donated (via NADPH, a compound closely related to NADH)to CO2 to synthesize carbohydrate.

Thus, the chloroplast generates O2 and carbohydrate, whereas the mitochondrion consumes them /b they contain their own DNA that loops around like that of bacteria, they manufacture many of their own proteins, and they both reproduce by binary fission. /a mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support growth. In addition to making energy, /c Mitochondrial diseases result when your body’s mitochondria fail to function properly.

Your body’s organ systems are severely affected when your mitochondria can’t provide the energy needed to keep them running. Some parts of the body that require the most energy to function are: the brain, heart, liver, skeletal muscles, kidneys, endocrine and respiratory systems. /c * poor growth (failure to thrive) * muscle weakness, poor coordination * sensory (vision, hearing) problems * reduced mental functions * disease of the organ (heart, liver) dementia * respiratory problems * hypoglycemia * apnea * lactic acidosis * seizures * gastro-intestinal disorders and swallowing difficulties * developmental delays * movement disorders (dystonia, muscle spasms, tremors, chorea) * stroke * diabetes * brain atrophy/c * not a cure for mitochondrial diseases/c Treatment may involve special diets and/or a combination of vitamins, and reducing any stress on the body. /c

Cite this Structure and Function of Mitochondria

Structure and Function of Mitochondria. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/structure-and-function-of-mitochondria/

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