What is Mitochondria and what does it do in our cells?

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mitochondria are organelles found in eukaryotic cells. They are bound by a double membrane and generates the energy required for cellular activities. Mitochondria's replications are independent of cell replications and they also contains their own genome. Mitochondria are similar to many modern prokaryotes and are thought to have originated from free-living prokaryotic cells in the distant past. 

The primary functions of mitochondria include energy production and regulation of cell metabolism. Mitochondria carry out the aerobic respiration (through Krebs cycle) of glucose by-products and generate energy molecules adenosine triphosphate (ATPs). Energy production includes two stages: the citric acid cycle (or the Krebs Cycle) and oxidative phosphorylation. The entire process of aerobic respiration releases 38 molecules of ATP. They generally do not participate in the anaerobic respiration. They also play a significant role in a number of other cellular activities. 

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