Mitochondrion meaning

mī'tə-kŏn'drē-ən
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.
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(cytology) A spherical or ovoid organelle found in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells, contains genetic material separate from that of the host; it is responsible for the conversion of food to usable energy in the form of ATP.
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Any of various very small, usually rodlike structures found in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells and serving as a center of intracellular enzyme activity: this activity produces the ATP needed to power the cell.
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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.
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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.
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Origin of mitochondrion

  • New Latin Greek mitos warp thread Greek khondrion diminutive of khondros grain, granule ghrendh- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Ancient Greek μίτος (mitos, “thread”) + χονδρίον (chondrion), diminutive of χόνδρος (chondros, “grain, morsel”)
    From Wiktionary