What role does the mitochondria play in cellular respiration?

Question:

What role does the mitochondria play in cellular respiration?

The Mitochondria:

The mitochondria are a very complex organelle with lots of structures. The organelle itself has two membranes, which are separated by an intermembrane space. The inner membrane has a vast network of folds, called cristae, that help increase surface area. Inside the inner membrane is the matrix, a fluid and enzyme-filled space.

Answer and Explanation: 1

You've now doubt heard that the mitochondrion (plural, mitochondria) is the powerhouse of the cell. It converts chemical energy from food into ATP, the usable energy of a cell.

Cellular respiration occurs in three stages: glycolysis, citric acid cycle, and electron transport chain. Glycolysis, the breakdown of glucose into two molecules of pyruvate, actually happens in the cytoplasm of the cell. The next two stages happen in the mitochondria.

The citric acid cycle occurs in the matrix of the mitochondria. This is when the breakdown of glucose is completed, and carbon dioxide is formed.

The enzymes of the third stage of cellular respiration are found within the inner membrane of the mitochondria. These enzymes act as electron acceptors and donors for the electron transport chain. This is why the increased surface area from the cristae is so important. More surface area allows more enzymes to fit, meaning more ATP can be formed


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What Is Mitochondria? - Definition & Functions

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Chapter 3 / Lesson 8

Learn the definition of mitochondria and understand their different functions. Discover mitochondria's structure and parts with a diagram and see their location.


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