Why Do Plants Need Both Chloroplasts And Mitochondria? 7 Facts

Chloroplasts transform light energy into chemical energy while mitochondria generates energy through cellular respiration. Let us see why plants need them for its functioning.

Chloroplasts and mitochondria are required by plant cells because they carry out photosynthesis and cell respiration respectively. While mitochondria, the heart of the cell, creates ATP during respiration, the chloroplast transforms light energy into chemical energy during photosynthesis.

Chloroplast is present only in the plant cell. It carries chlorophyll which perform photosynthesis. While mitochondria is present in both plant and animal cells. It releases ATP.

Do plant cells have both mitochondria and chloroplasts?

Mitochondria and chloroplasts are the two important components of eukaryotes. Let us see if plant cells carry both mitochondria and chloroplasts or not.

Plant cells have both mitochondria and chloroplasts. Mitochondria synthesis ATP to carry out cellular respiration and other processes. While chloroplast contain chlorophyll is required for the synthesis of food in plants.

The main function of chloroplast is to absorb radiant energy from sunlight for photosynthesis. In plants, mitochondria is also used to degrade certain compounds.

Why do plants need chloroplasts?

Chloroplasts are chlorophyll-containing organelles. They are essential for maintaining life on Earth. Let us see why plants need chloroplast for photosynthesis.

Plant need chloroplasts because they absorb light’s radiant energy and convert it into chemical energy to synthesis carbohydrate which is the food of plants. Chloroplasts also involves in metabolic activities of plants like synthesis of fatty acid, membrane lipid, hormones etc.

Chloroplast from Wikipedia

Additionally, chloroplasts support the creation of isoprenoids, tetrapyrroles, and starch in plant cells. The appropriate structure and operation of chloroplasts depend on their biosynthesis, morphogenesis, protection, and senescence.

Why do plants need mitochondria?

Different functions are carried out by mitochondria in plant cells. Their primary job is to carry out cellular respiration, which produces ATP. Let us look this in detail.

Plants need mitochondria because plants utilise mitochondria for many crucial activities. The primary function of these cells is the synthesis of ATP by the connection of a membrane potential to the transfer of electrons from NADH to O2 via the electron transport chain.

Mitochondria from Wikimedia

Several metabolic activities related to the production of energy for cellular functions as well as the synthesis and degradation of various substances in plants is carried out by mitochondria.

How are chloroplasts and mitochondria related?

Chloroplasts and mitochondria are both major component of plant cell. Let us see how they are related to each other.

Chloroplasts and mitochondria are related in many ways. Both chloroplasts and mitochondria produce metabolic energy, have independent genetic systems, evolves through endosymbiosis, and replicate by division. Both of the organelles also generate energy for the cellular process in plant cells.

Inner and outer membranes are present in both mitochondria and chloroplast. The shape of DNA is also circular in both organelles. They also have ribosomes to produce their own protein.

Difference between mitochondria and chloroplast

Chloroplasts are derivatives of photosynthetic bacteria, while mitochondria are derivatives of oxidative metabolic bacteria. Now let us look at the differences between them.

It is where photosynthesis occurs, and is more complex than a mitochondrion.It is referred to as the “powerhouse of the cell” and is in charge of cellular respiration and energy metabolism.
A component of green plants and green algaePresent in every form of aerobic organisms’ cell, including those of both plants and animals.
The two chambers of a chloroplast are the stroma and the thylakoid.A mitochondrion has two chambers: the matrix and the cristae.
Chloroplast is made up of pigments like carotenoids, photosynthetic pigments, and chlorophyll.Mitochondria do not own any pigmentsStores energy and creates glucose using carbon dioxide and water.By converting organic food into carbon dioxide and water, energy is released.
Difference between mitochondria and chloroplast

Why do plant cells have both mitochondria and chloroplasts but animal cells only have mitochondria?

Plant cell contain both mitochondria and chloroplast ,while animal cell have only mitochondria for the purpose of energy production. Let us understand the reason behind it.

Animal cell only have mitochondria because they obtain energy by the breakdown of food in mitochondria. On the other hand, plant cell have both mitochondria and chloroplast because chloroplast synthesize sugar by photosynthesis. The sugar is then broken down by mitochondria to produce energy for cells.


We may infer from the aforementioned distinctions between mitochondria and chloroplast that both of these organelles are necessary and equally contribute to the health and development of a cell. Chloroplast is present only in plant cell and perform photosynthesis while mitochondria is present in both plant and animal cell which release energy.

Sadiqua Noor

Hi...I am Sadiqua Noor, done Postgraduation in Biotechnology, my area of interest is molecular biology and genetics, apart from these I have a keen interest in scientific article writing in simpler words so that the people from non-science backgrounds can also understand the beauty and gifts of science. I have 5 years of experience as a tutor. Let's connect through LinkedIn-https://www.linkedin.com/in/sadiqua-noor-705593225

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