Mitochondrion is also termed as the “Power house of the cell” since it stores and discharges the energy of the cell. The energy discharged is employed to form ATP (that is, Adenosine Triphosphate). Mitochondria are the principal places of ATP production in aerobic cells.


 Figure: Mitochondria as a powerhouse

Most of the eukaryotic cells include many mitochondria that occupy up to 25% of the volume of the cytoplasm. Such complex organelles are among the biggest organelles usually exceeded in size only by the vacuoles, nucleus, and chloroplasts. Usually the mitochondria are sausage shaped however these might be filamentous, granular, rod-shaped, and spherical or thread like.

944_mitochondria sructure.jpg

 Figure: Ultra-structure of a Mitochondrion


Mitochondria include two very distinct membranes an outer one and an inner one, estranged by the inter membrane space. The external membrane is composed of around half lipid and half protein. The internal membrane is less permeable. This is composed of around 20 % lipid and 80 % protein. The surface region of the inner membrane is greatly raised by a big number of folding, or cristae which protrude into the matrix.


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