Do Plant Cells Have Mitochondria? 7 Facts You should Know


This article would focus on the idea “Do Plant cells have mitochondria?” along with other detailed facts and roles of mitochondria in the plant cells. 

There are various organelles within a plant cell, among which Mitochondria is identified to have high significance as it is engaged in generating the major portion of the cellular energy to drive various functions within the cells. 

Do all plant cells have mitochondria?

Mitochondria has been found in all types of eukaryotic organisms, which includes plants as well. All plant cells have mitochondria as cells require a large amount of energy which is produced by mitochondria to facilitate a series of functions. 

do plant cells have mitochondria
Mitochondria from Pixabay

Why do plant cells have mitochondria?

Mitochondria within the plant cells have various roles to play but the prime function is in terms of energy production in the plant cells. It helps in disintegrating the glucose that is prepared by the plants through photosynthesis. Mitochondria is engaged in cellular respiration facilitated by plants where oxygen and glucose are utilised in order to produce products like energy along with the by-products water and carbon dioxide. 

The process of cellular respiration starts within cytoplasm where the glucose gets converted into pyruvate in the process termed as glycolysis. Pyruvate is further identified to be converting into Acetyl-CoA which enters the matrix of mitochondria for Krebs cycle.

Overall ATP produced through glycolysis and Krebs cycle is very limited which gets amplified in the process of oxidative phosphorylation where electron carriers engage in donating the electrons. This occurs inside the inner mitochondrial membrane. Thus, a large amount of ATP is processed through oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria and is called the “powerhouse” of the cell. 

Do eukaryotic plant cells have mitochondria?

Every cell of all the eukaryotic organisms have mitochondria and hence all the eukaryotic plant cells contain mitochondria to support energy production along with other sets of activities. 

Where is mitochondria in a plant cell?

Mitochondria has been located within the cytoplasm of the cells along with other sets of important organelles within the cells. 

Do green plant cells have mitochondria?

All the plants need both chloroplast and mitochondria for survival. The presence of chloroplast provides the plants with the green colour. The chloroplast helps the plants in photosynthesis the food required for energy which is in the form of glucose, which is used up by the plants. At night, the plant cells undergo cell respiration which is facilitated by the mitochondria present in the cells. 

Do prokaryotes plant cells have mitochondria?

Prokaryotes have been found to have no existence of mitochondria and are only found in the cells of eukaryotic organisms. There is the presence of other sets of structures which are membrane-bound and resemble nuclei or golgi apparatus. 

The prokaryotic cells lack both the essential organelles of plant cells, that are mitochondria and chloroplast. Even with such absence, certain prokaryotes can perform aerobic respiration which is similar to the process performed by mitochondria. 

Role of mitochondria in plant cells?

There are a series of roles which are facilitated by mitochondria within the plant’s cells which are as follows: 

Energy production:

Mitochondria has been identified to be engaged in generating a high amount of energy for the cells through cellular respiration by disintegrating the glucose produced by the cells.

Glycine-oxidation: 

Mitochondria and peroxisomes help in salvaging the carbon that would leave the Calvin Cycle through a two-carbon compound known as the 2-phosphoglycolate. 

Co-enzyme transport:

Coenzymes are important to facilitate a series of functions which are produced by the plants on their own. Most of the coenzymes are produced by mitochondria and maximum of it is used by mitochondria itself. 

Stress tolerance:

Alternative oxidase (AOX) is a terminal oxidase produced by plant mitochondria which helps in controlling the synthesis of various signalling molecules which further helps in controlling the stress signalling to manage stress situations. 

Thermoregulation:

High respiration rates formed due to enhanced density of mitochondria coupled with AOX activities can increase the temperature within plants by 20°C which helps in processes like pollination. 

Pathogen response:

Mitochondria in plants have Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and NO production sites which helps in pathogen defence by accumulating around the contamination site to display pathogen-induced redox imbalances. 

Apoptosis:

Mitochondria helps in cell death where old and damaged cells are replaced with new cells. Mitochondria controls the release of enzyme cytochrome C which can activate another enzyme named “caspase” which engages in the process of the apoptosis.

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