Do Plants Have Mitochondria? Everything You Should Know


Plant cells contain mitochondria. The number and size of mitochondria can vary, depending on cell type and how active it is. Mitochondria in plant and animal cells differ. This blog post will explore everything you need to know about these important organelles! However, should you chose to skip this blog due to reasons such as a busy schedule, our professional writers are ready to cover you by acing that assignment at an affordable rate. All you have to do is place an order.

What is a Mitochondrion?

Mitochondria are the organelles that give power to our cells. They generate energy, control cell growth and death, and regulate many other functions in the body. Mitochondria are known as chondrocytes. They have their own DNA, which is distinct from the rest of the cell’s DNA (nuclear genome). Mitochondria generate most of a plant or animal cell’s supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), used for energy by all living cells. The mitochondria resembles a bacterial cell but has its own DNA. 

An organelle is a smaller part of an organ. Organs are tissues that work together to perform a function, such as digestion or cell respiration.

The cell is the smallest organ in the human body, and organelles within the cell wall include mitochondria and ribosomes (the cell’s protein factory).

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How Do Mitochondria Differ From Plant to Animal Cells?

Cellulose is the main component of a cell wall in plants, while animals cannot produce cellulose because they lack the wall.

A cell’s mitochondria rely on glycolysis to make ATP. The energy from ATP then powers all of the cell’s activities, including growth and division. Again plant cells do not have nuclei, cell membranes or walls like animal cells do.

A cell membrane is made of fatty acids attached to a protein skeleton, while walls in the eukaryotic contain cellulose and lipids (fats). The eukaryotic cell walls also aid plant growth and protect it from germs.

The outer part of a plant cell’s membrane is called its plasma membrane. The plasma contains phospholipids, which form cell membranes. Cell walls are made of cellulose and membrane polymers that form cell wall fibers.

Image: Differences between plant and animal cells

Do Plant Cells have More Mitochondria than Animal Cells?

Amounts of mitochondria differ in plant and animal cells. Mitochondria in animal cells usually outnumber cell organelles 10 to one. However, plant mitochondria are present at a ratio of 2:1 over cell organelles.

Plant mitochondria are larger than those in animal cells and contain fewer cristae (storage areas for cell energy).

Can Plants Live Without Mitochondria?

Plants cannot live without mitochondria. A plant cell without mitochondria would not be able to produce energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

ATP is important for moving materials from one place to another within a plant cell and drives many chemical reactions in a plant. Plants need more energy because they are larger and contain more organelles.

Plant cells make a lot of ATP because of the numerous organelles, including chloroplasts, that work together to carry out photosynthesis. Without mitochondria, plants would not be able to perform this function.

In addition to producing energy, mitochondria produce another important substance in plant cells, oxygen.

Plant chloroplasts produce oxygen during photosynthesis, and mitochondria use it to make ATP. Without oxygen, plant cells would not survive very long because there would be too little available oxygen for survival.

Where are Mitochondria Located in Plants?

In plants, mitochondria are located in chloroplast and contain a large number of chloroplasts in the cell.

Mitochondria are found in organelles of a plant cell. Plant cells have types of organellas that include Golgi bodies, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), lysosomes, ribosomes and peroxisomes.

The Golgi body is a place where proteins are packaged within the membrane for transport to other organelles.

Lysosomes are organelles in the cell that breaks down molecules such as carbohydrates inside the cells. In the cell, ribosomes assist plant cells in building proteins, and peroxisome is important for plants’ defense against germs.

ER or extracellular space is located outside of mitochondria chloroplast in the plant cell. It is a network of membranes in the cell which separates it from the cytoplasm. ER also refers to the fluid within these membrane networks, known as endoplasmic reticulum lumen, that carries molecules produced by organelles to other parts of the cell.

Chloroplast is a structure within the cell that produces food (carbon dioxide from air and water) through photosynthesis. It also converts light energy into chemical energy in the form of ATP to drive cellular processes.

Photosynthesis occurs in the chloroplast part called the thylakoid membrane, which contains crista stacks of membrane disks.

Structure of Mitochondria

The mitochondrion is divided into five parts: the outer membrane, intermembrane space (IMS), inner membrane, granum and matrix. The outer membrane is made of phospholipids and protein.

The intermembrane space contains ATP synthase. Protein embedded in the inner membrane form cristae which increase surface area for further oxidative activity. Material that transforms the food into energy are stored inside granum and matrix.

The Mitochondrion’s Function

Mitochondria make up for the majority of a cell’s energy. The mitochondrion that is found in human cells creates around 95% of cellular ATP. Since most of the ATP will be used by kidney cells, it plays an essential role to maintain osmosis balance in the body.

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Mitochondria and Oxygen

Oxygen is an essential compound in our body that helps us to release energy. To release the chemical energy bound in foods consumed by animals via cellular respiration, mitochondria combine glucose with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and water and release energy in the process.

Toxins that Damage the Mitochondrion Structure

Damaging mitochondria structure of human cells relies on high-energy charge in mitochondria. When there is a mitochondrial toxin, the production of ATP will be stop and cell activities will decline as well. One example is alcoholic expose to nitrosamines, which changes proteins inside mitochondria.

What is A Plant Cell?

A plant cell is a cell in plants (eukaryotic cells) with a wall made of cellulose and plastids called chloroplasts. The chloroplast gives the plant its green color. All plants have these two features, even though some do not have such features at all.

Parts of a Plant


Chloroplasts are organs found inside eukaryotic cells. They are photosynthetic sites in plants, algae and cyanobacteria. Chloroplasts have their DNA (referred to as cpDNA) and ribosomes, like prokaryotes (bacteria), but different in that they have a double membrane.

The inner membrane is similar to that of the plasma membrane, while the outer one is very different and thicker. This outer membrane has invaginations dividing it into compartments called cristae.

The chloroplast’s DNA usually has a large single circular chromosome as well as smaller circles called plastids (or cpDNA) and mitochondrial (mtDNA). They contain some of the same pigments found in cyanobacteria. The chloroplast retains a small circular DNA called nucleomorph, which is present in cryptomonads and appears to be related to plastids.

Chloroplasts are bounded by two membranes. The outer membrane is folded into invaginations called thylakoids, containing the majority of chloroplast’s photosynthetic pigments.

The inner membrane, which encloses the fluid-filled stroma where photosynthesis takes place, is much thicker and more complex than the outer one. It contains hundreds or, in some cases (e.g., vertebrate red blood cells), thousands of embedded proteins called light-harvesting complexes, used to collect light energy for photosynthesis.

The chlorophylls of the thylakoids and lumen (fluid-filled) combine with proteins called reaction centers embedded in the inner membrane. These centers capture photons and use their energy to synthesize ATP. When this process is insufficient or occurs in darkness, the thylakoids will be re-cycled back to chloroplasts and release ATP production.

What is the Function of Chloroplast Membranes?

A chloroplast membrane has several functions: to support and protect the chloroplasts, it helps exchange materials between organelles, produce carbohydrates by photosynthesis, and transport proteins into the peroxisome.


Centrosomes are located in the cytoplasm inside cells. They are points where microtubules or arrays of fibers (cytokinesis) grow to divide cells into two parts during cell division, as well as form a spindle apparatus that separates chromosomes during mitosis. In animals, centrosomes also help to organize chromosomes successfully during cell division.


Vacuoles are membrane-bound organelles in non-cellular compartments that are generally used to store materials. Vacuoles can be found in plants, fungi and protists. They enclose various content, including particles, dissolved ions, and gas bubbles (or vacuoles) inside cells for cell survival.

The vacuole maintains the balance of water, ions and sugars in a cell. Vacuoles can be found inside plant cells in between the plasma membrane and tonoplast (or plasmodesmata). The vacuoles are also present in the cytoplasm of mature animal cells as they contain materials used by cells, including proteins or fatty acids. Vacuoles hold chlorophyll and other molecules used in photosynthesis, separated by thylakoids inside the chloroplasts of plant cells.

When proteins are used to build new structures such as pollen tubes, they are also stored in organelles called vacuoles.

These organelles grow larger with the growth of the pollen tube to store more materials. When plant cells are dehydrated, vacuoles develop into larger compartments called vesicles or perform other functions like expanding and allowing molecules to move around during cell growth.

Tiny pores present between the two membranes allow free flow of materials through the vacuole like a diffusion process. Another way materials can be transported to the vacuole is by passive transport.

Vacuoles contain cellular waste removal systems called lysosomes that digest harmful particles or molecules in plants and animals. Toxins are removed from plants into these organelles to not affect other parts of a cell. They also secrete materials, including enzymes that are used in the digestion of food and other substances. Lysosomes contain digestive enzymes, which make the nutrients available to the rest of the cell. For example, when a large piece of food is taken into body cells by endocytosis (similar to pinocytosis), lysosomes break it into smaller pieces to be released for absorption.


Endosymbiosis is a mutual living situation between one organism and another. This allows cell organelles to live inside; one organism lives inside another organism. In plants, the chloroplasts are endosymbionts because they were originally cyanobacteria that became part of the plant’s cells.


Although plants are similar to animals in many ways, they have very different structures and functions. Mitochondria in plant cells differ from those in animal cells mainly because plant cell walls prevent the mixing of cytoplasm with other parts of the cell; therefore, mitochondria play a more central role in cellular respiration and energy production in plants than they do in animals. In case that biology assignment is still confusing, consider placing an order and our professional writers will be of help.

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