Mitochondria, plural for mitochondrion, are the
that cells use as their energy factories. Think of them as the cell's way of recharging its
What is the
structure of a mitochondria?
A mitochondrion is an oval bags that is filled with membranes. Mitochondria are
so small that you can only see them with the high-power magnification of an electron micrograph.
How do we
know that mitochondria are membrane-filled bags?
Look at the picture. The membranes are clear, but the space between membranes is fuzzy
and without form. Much of this faint background material is chemicals and water.
Think about this picture in three dimensions.
Pictures like this are made from very thin slices of cells. If you made a series of
thin slices and took their pictures at different depths and reconstructed all the
pictures into one, what do you think the three-dimensional structure would be like?
... a membrane-filled bag, right?
do you think mitochondria have all of those membranes?