Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Juli Peretó
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1005-2


Mitochondrion is a semi-autonomous organelle occurring in eukaryotic cells. Structurally, it consists of two closed membranous sacs (outer and inner membranes) and a matrix, containing a set of enzymes and a genetic apparatus for the expression of its own mitochondrial genome (mtDNA). The metabolic functions of mitochondria include oxygen respiration (at the inner membrane) and the TCA cycle (at the matrix). The mitochondrion is descendant of an ancient alpha-proteobacterium, as showed by extensive phylogenetic analysis of the mtDNA. During eukaryotic evolution, and as a consequence of anaerobic adaptations, mitochondria have originated different organelles as hydrogenosomes and mitosomes.

See Also


Phylogenetic Analysis Citric Acid Bioorganic Chemistry Mitochondrial Genome Eukaryotic Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitat de ValènciaInstitut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia EvolutivaValènciaSpain