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Why is the mitochondria called the powerhouse of the cell?

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Quick Answer

The mitochondria is called the powerhouse of the cell because it is responsible for producing most of the cell's energy, or adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP). Cells can produce two ATP by breaking down a glycogen molecule, but the mitochondria is able to produce up to 36 ATP in comparison.

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Why is the mitochondria called the powerhouse of the cell?
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Full Answer

Glycolysis, the process where glycogen is converted into energy, takes place in the cell's cytoplasm. It produces two ATP per glycogen molecule and pyruvate as a waste product. After transporting pyruvate into the cell's mitochondria, it begins the Krebs Cycle, which is a serious of steps that produces between 34 and 36 ATP.

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