Similarities Between Mitochondria and Chloroplasts

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Like organs in the body, organelles are membrane-bound subunits within cells carrying out particular tasks. The nucleus, which contains genetic data, is the cell’s control center. Energy is produced by both the mitochondria and the chloroplasts in plant and animal cells, respectively.


During this process, known as photosynthesis, green chlorophyll absorbs solar energy to create carbohydrates from water and carbon dioxide.

  • These carbs are subsequently transformed into ATP, the energy supply for all living things, by cellular respiration.
  • Enzymes, catalytic proteins required for the photosynthetic process, are encoded by chloroplast DNA.

Mitochondrial DNA

Animal cells’ mitochondria are also in charge of generating energy. The oxidative phosphorylation process requires specific enzymes, which are produced according to instructions found in mitochondrial DNA.

  • ATP is created through this mechanism using oxygen and simple carbohydrates from meals.
  • Contrary to nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA is exclusively inherited from the mother, which is an intriguing feature of mitochondrial DNA.
  • An individual’s ancestral line can be followed back to its origin in the prehistoric period using mitochondrial DNA.

Animals and plants both include mitochondria, indicating significant similarities in control, energy production, substrate use, etc. 

  • Cristae, which are prokaryotic cells’ mesosome-like deep folds, are similar to the inner mitochondrial membrane’s cristae.
  • Aerobic cellular respiration is a task performed by both cristae and mesosomes; for the cell or organism, cellular respiration produces energy.
  • The endosymbiosis idea contends that mitochondria were acquired when an anaerobic prokaryotic cell swallowed aerobic prokaryotes, thereby reaping the benefits of aerobic respiration.
  • Aerobic respiration (with oxygen) produces more energy than anaerobic respiration (without oxygen).
  • Energy is generated for plant cells via chloroplasts and mitochondria.
  • Because they each contain circular DNA, mitochondria and chloroplasts can each function without the help of other cells. 

Both mitochondria and chloroplasts possess unique circular DNA and can function without the assistance of their eukaryotic hosts.

Energy Generation

Energy generation, or how they change cellular energy into a certain form before the cell uses it, is the fundamental commonality between mitochondria and chloroplast.

  • Plant cells contain both the chloroplast and the mitochondrion, but animal cells only have the mitochondria.
  • The purpose of mitochondria and chloroplasts is to produce energy for the cells in which they are found.

Both mitochondria and chloroplasts transform external energy into a form the cell can use. These organelles’ mechanism for converting energy is where their structural distinctions can be detected.


Each mitochondrion and chloroplast contain its DNA, which codes for some enzymes required for specific chemical reactions.

Double Membrane

A double membrane surrounds both mitochondria and chloroplasts. Both types of organelles have an inner and an outer membrane as part of their structure.

Prokaryotic Origin Theory 

Chloroplast and mitochondria were originally prokaryotic microorganisms, per the prokaryotic origin theory.

ATP Production

To phosphorylate ADP into ATP, the enzyme ATP synthase uses the energy liberated during proton movement (proton-motive force). The fact that both mitochondria and chloroplasts produce ATP is another similarity.

Reproduction of Initial Acceptor

Chemical processes between mitochondria and chloroplast in both organs cause the initial acceptor to be replicated at the end of the cycle.

Krebs and Calvin Cycle

Oxaloacetate is created again after the mitochondria chemical reaction, which carries out the Krebs cycle. In chloroplasts, the Calvin cycle occurs, and ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) is replicated at the conclusion of the reaction.

They Can Move Within the Cell

The ability to relocate throughout the cell is another remarkable resemblance between mitochondria and chloroplast.


The chloroplast and the mitochondria are semi-autonomous organelles, meaning they may work independently to some extent.

  • Both mitochondria and chloroplasts are semi-autonomous organelles with unique systems for generating DNA and proteins.
  • They contribute to the cytoplasmic inheritance of certain traits and rely on nuclear genes for metabolic functions.

DNA is Circular in Shape

Another similarity is that while most DNA is found in the cell’s nucleus, mitochondria and chloroplasts contain some DNA. Chloroplast and mitochondrial DNA and RNA are nearly identical. Both DNA molecules are circular. 

  • It is essential to note that the DNA in mitochondria and chloroplasts is not identical to the DNA in the nucleus. Instead, it is circular, like the DNA in prokaryotes (single-celled organisms without a nucleus).
  • A eukaryote’s nucleus contains chromosomes, which are coils of DNA. 


The notion of endosymbiosis, which Lynn Margulis first advanced in her 1970 book “The Origin of Eukaryotic Cells.” explains the comparable DNA structure in mitochondria and chloroplasts.

The mitochondria and chloroplasts are relics of once-individual organisms, which explains why they still possess their own unique DNA.


What are the differences between mitochondria and chloroplasts?

Chloroplasts are derivatives of the photosynthetic bacteria, while mitochondria are derivatives of the oxidative metabolic bacteria. Mitochondria, the cell’s “powerhouses,” disintegrate fuel molecules. And harvest energy during cellular respiration. Both plants and algae include chloroplasts. They are in charge of collecting light energy for photosynthesis, which produces carbohydrates.

What is common in mitochondria, chloroplast, and nucleus?

Nucleic acids are found in the mitochondria, chloroplast, and nucleus (DNA and RNA)

Which structures are found in both mitochondria and chloroplasts?

The double membrane-bound organelles, mitochondria, and chloroplast have ribosomes and self-replicating DNA. Thus, called a semi-autonomous organelle. To synthesize ATP, a kind of energy, phosphorylation is present in the mitochondrial membrane and the chloroplast’s thylakoid.

What are the similarities between mitochondria and the nucleus?

Mitochondria are membrane-bound organelles that contain a purposeful assortment of enzymes, just like the nucleus. DNA is found in the mitochondria (plural: mitochondrion) and the nucleus. DNA serves as the blueprint for creating all cellular proteins in the nucleus. The mitochondrion may produce its proteins and its DNA.

What are the functions of mitochondria and chloroplasts?

The “powerhouses” of the cell, mitochondria, break down fuel molecules and harvest energy during cellular respiration. Both plants and algae include chloroplasts. They are in charge of collecting light energy for photosynthesis, which produces carbohydrates.

Why do mitochondria and chloroplasts have their DNA?

It is hypothesized that retaining chloroplast and mitochondrial DNA is necessary to continue redox regulatory control over gene expression. Therefore, the redox chemistry of cellular energy transfer is the primary determinant of whether genes are present in this DNA.

What is the difference between mitochondria and mitochondrion?

The only distinction between mitochondria and mitochondrion is that the former is spelled singularly, whereas the latter is spelled plural.

Author: Syed Hasan

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