14
$\begingroup$

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?

$\endgroup$
15
$\begingroup$

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).

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you could add a diagram or a reference then it would be great. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 20 '18 at 10:28
0
$\begingroup$

An electrochemical gradient is needed to carry out cellular respiration. Compartimentalization is necessary for gradients to exist. Both mitochondria and certain bacteria possess a double membrane, between which a gradient can be kept. Essentially, they are acid-containing bags which in turn enclose cytoplasm-containing bags. Mitochondria can be thought of as bacteria living in permanent symbiosis with their eukaryotic hosts. Conversely, those bacteria can be thought of as their own mitochondria.

$\endgroup$

protected by Chris Oct 20 '15 at 18:33

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.