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In order to survive, prokaryotes such as bacteria need to produce energy from food such as glucose. In eukaryotic cells, respiration is performed by mitochondria, but prokaryotic cells do not have membrane-enclosed organelles. How do prokaryotic cells respirate without mitochondria?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Mitochondria are very similar to bacteria and are thought to have originated from bacteria. This points you to the answer: bacteria produce ATPs the same way mitochondria do, with the oxidation machinery place in their plasma membrane (analogous to the mitochondrial membrane).

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+1 beat me by 2 sentences. –  KennyPeanuts Dec 6 '12 at 19:49

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