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The mitochondrion /matokndri.

n/ (plural mitochondria) is a membraneenclosed structure found in most eukaryotic cells(the cells that make up plants, animals, and many other forms of life).[1] Mitochondria range from 0.5 to 1.0 micrometer (m) in diameter. These organelles are sometimes described as "cellular power plants" because they generate most of the cell's supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), used as a source of chemical energy.[2] In addition to supplying cellular energy, mitochondria are involved in other tasks such as signaling, cellular differentiation, cell death, as well as the control of the cell cycle and cell growth.[3] Mitochondria have been implicated in several human diseases, including mitochondrial disorders[4] and cardiacdysfunction,[5] and may play a role in the aging process. The word mitochondrion comes from the Greek , mitos, i.e. "thread", and , chondrion, i.e. "granule".[6] Several characteristics make mitochondria unique. The number of mitochondria in a cell varies widely by organism and tissuetype. Many cells have only a single mitochondrion, whereas others can contain several thousand mitochondria.[7][8] The organelle is composed of compartments that carry out specialized functions. These compartments or regions include the outer membrane, the intermembrane space, the inner membrane, and the cristae and matrix. Mitochondrial proteins vary depending on the tissue and the species. In humans, 615 distinct types of proteins have been identified from cardiac mitochondria,[9] whereas in Murinae(rats), 940 proteins encoded by distinct genes have been reported.[10] The mitochondrial proteome is thought to be dynamically regulated.[11] Although most of a cell's DNA is contained in the cell nucleus, the mitochondrion has its own independent genome. Further, its DNA shows substantial similarity to bacterial genomes.[12]

Evidence for endosymbiosis Biologist Lynn Margulis first made the case for endosymbiosis in the 1960s, but for many years other biologists were skeptical. Although Jeon watched his amoebae become infected with the x-bacteria and then evolve to depend upon them, no one was around over a billion years ago to observe the events of endosymbiosis. Why should we think that a mitochondrion used to be a free-living organism in its own right? It turns out that many lines of evidence support this idea. Most important are the many striking similarities between prokaryotes (like bacteria) and mitochondria:

Membranes Mitochondria have their own cell membranes, just like a prokaryotic cell does. DNA Each mitochondrion has its own circular DNA genome, like a bacteria's genome, but much smaller. This DNA is passed from a mitochondrion to its offspring and is separate from the "host" cell's genome in the nucleus.

Reproduction Mitochondria multiply by pinching in half the same process used by bacteria. Every new mitochondrion must be produced from a parent mitochondrion in this way; if a cell's mitochondria are removed, it can't build new ones from scratch.

Grabbing takeout:Paramecium bursariapacks a lunch Paramecium bursaria, a single-celled eukaryote that swims around in pond water, may not have its own chloroplasts, but it does manage to "borrow" them in a rather unusual way.P. bursaria swallows photosynthetic green algae, but it stores them instead of digesting them. In fact, the normally clear paramecium can pack so many algae into its body that it even looks green! When P. bursaria swims into the light, the algae photosynthesize sugar, and both cells share lunch on the go. But P. bursaria doesn't exploit its algae. Not only does the agile paramecium chauffeur its algae into well-lit areas, it also shares the food it finds with its algae if they are forced to live in the

When you look at it this way, mitochondria really resemble tiny bacteria making their livings inside eukaryotic cells! Based on decades of accumulated evidence, the scientific community supports Margulis's ideas: endosymbiosis is the best explanation for the evolution of the eukaryotic cell. What's more, the evidence for endosymbiosis applies not only to mitochondria, but to other cellular organelles as well. Chloroplasts are like tiny green factories within plant cells that help convert energy from sunlight into sugars, and they have many similarities to mitochondria. The evidence suggests that these chloroplast organelles were also once free-living bacteria. The endosymbiotic event that generated mitochondria must have happened early in the history of eukaryotes, because all eukaryotes have them. Then, later, a similar event brought chloroplasts into some eukaryotic cells, creating the lineage that led to plants.


P. bursaria

Despite their many similarities, mitochondria (and chloroplasts) aren't free-living bacteria anymore. The first eukaryotic cell evolved more than a billion years ago. Since then, these organelles have become completely dependent on their host cells. For example, many of the key proteins needed by the mitochondrion are imported from the rest of the cell. Sometime during their longstanding relationship, the genes that code for these

proteins were transferred from the mitochondrion to its host's genome. Scientists consider this mixing of genomes to be the irreversible step at which the two independent organisms become a single individual.

An aerobic environment is characterized by the presence of free oxygen (O2) while an anaerobic environment lacks free oxygen but mayrminal electron acceptor, but anaerobes use a bound form of oxygen instead contain atomic oxygen bound in compounds such as nitrate (NO3), nitrite (NO2), and sulfites (SO3). Aerobes are microbes that require O2 as their te. There is by definition a byproduct of anaerobic decomposition -- the non-oxygen element must go somewhere when the oxygen atom is biochemically removed by the microbe. When sulfites are present, the byproduct is hydrogen sulfide, a foul smell corrosive gas. When nitrites/nitrates are present, the byproduct is inert nitrogen gas.

Most microbes in wastewater are facultative. That is in the presence of oxygen they act as aerobes, and in the absence of oxygen they act as anaerobes even if bound oxygen is present in large amounts.