Mitochondrion – a mini power plant © Siemens Stiftung 2015 CC BY-SA 4.0 international

Mitochondrion – a mini power plant

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Labeled graphic:
Schematic illustration of cellular respiration. The mitochondrion is the cell’s “power plant".

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2018-10-26
In the body, the energy needed for the cellular activity is provided in the form of the molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This possesses chemical compounds that are very rich in energy. ATP is obtained from glucose with the aid of oxygen through a process known as “cellular respiration."
The entire process takes place partly in the cell plasma and partly in the mitochondrion, an organelle in the cell. Glycolysis takes place in the cell plasma, while the citrate cycle and respiratory chain occur in the mitochondrion. In this way a total of 36–38 ATP molecules are produced per glucose molecule: Glycolysis and citrate cycle each produce two ATP molecules, and the respiratory chain 32–34 ATP molecules. The mitochondrion can therefore justifiable be called a “mini power plant".

Information and ideas:
It would make a good research project in biology class in grades 11 – 12 to find out the process by which ATP is consumed in muscular contraction.
Illustration
Biology; Chemistry
Grade 10 to 13
Middle/high school
Energy
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