any of various very small, usually rodlike structures found in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells and that serve as a center of intracellular enzyme activity which produces the ATP needed to power the cell
Origin: Modern Latin ; from Classical Greek mitos, a thread plush chondrion, a small cartilage ; from chondros: see chondro-
mitochondrion definition by American Heritage Dictionary
A spherical or elongated organelle in the cytoplasm of nearly all eukaryotic cells, containing genetic material and many enzymes important for cell metabolism, including those responsible for the conversion of food to usable energy. Also called chondriosome.
Origin: New Latin : Greek mitos, warp thread + Greek khondrion, diminutive of khondros, grain, granule; see ghrendh- in Indo-European roots.
A spherical or elongated organelle in the cytoplasm of nearly all eukaryotic cells, containing genetic material and many enzymes important for cell metabolism, including those responsible for the conversion of food to usable energy. It consists of two membranes: an outer smooth membrane and an inner membrane arranged to form cristae.
A structure in the cytoplasm of all cells except bacteria in which food molecules (sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids) are broken down in the presence of oxygen and converted to energy in the form of ATP. Mitochondria have an inner and outer membrane. The inner membrane has many twists and folds (called cristae), which increase the surface area available to proteins and their associative reactions. The inner membrane encloses a liquid containing DNA, RNA, small ribosomes, and solutes. The DNA in mitochondria is genetically distinct from that in the cell nucleus, and mitochondria can manufacture some of their own proteins independent of the rest of the cell. Each cell can contain thousands of mitochondria, which move about producing ATP in response to the cell's need for chemical energy. It is thought that mitochondria originated as separate, single-celled organisms that became so symbiotic with their hosts as to be indispensible. Mitochondrial DNA is thus considered a remnant of a past existence as a separate organism. See more at cell, cellular respiration.