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Difference Between Mitochondria and Chloroplast

Mitochondria and Chloroplast

Both mitochondria and chloroplast are the essential cells in living organisms that vitally run for them to live. While checking the difference between mitochondria and chloroplast, you will see that mitochondria utilize oxygen and other nutrients to produce a cell’s energy in terms of ATP. In contrast, chloroplast is the central unit of photosynthesis (a process in which plants utilize sunlight to produce energy-rich organic compounds as a food fuel for cells) in a plant cell.

We excluded this article to provide you with a detailed comparison between mitochondria and chloroplast, covering all their key similarities & dissimilarities. So, let’s begin with a brief comparison chart!

Comparison Chart

LocationIn all aerobic organisms,
e.g., animals and plants.
Only present in green plants,
protists, & a few green algae
ColorColorlessGreen color
Inner & Outer ChambersMatrix & Cristae, respectivelyStroma & Thylakoids, respectively
Role of OxygenUtilizes oxygenReleases oxygen
PigmentsNo pigments foundChlorophyll, Carotenoids, & Photosynthetic pigments
Energy UtilizationReleases energy in processStores energy in process

Mitochondria – Brief Explanation


The main function of a mitochondrion is to produce and provide energy to the remaining parts in a plant or animal cell. In addition, they are mostly discovered from where ATPs (Adenosine Triphosphates) are made. This whole energy generation mechanism is processed by cellular respiration, which mainly requires food to continue. Mitochondria may vary in its number, depending on the cell type, as a medium-sized animal cell consists of more than 1000 of them.

Chloroplasts – Brief Explanation

On the other hand, chloroplasts are always found where photosynthesis takes place in plant cells (photoautotrophic organisms). It operates through its Chlorophyll unit, which further catches sunlight (light energy) to combine carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). Using the same light energy, they are converted to glucose, which Mitochondria additionally utilize to generate ATP. Therefore, chlorophyll a and b are the only responsible units in chloroplast to give it a green color.

Check Out the Similarities and Dissimilarities between Mitochondria and Chloroplast

A chloroplast is just like Mitochondria when it comes to a double-layer member of its cells. Both have several other parts inside their cell membranes, which we will discuss further. Let’s quickly look into the fundamental similarities between them.

Key Similarities


Both Mitochondria and Chloroplast have important genetic material called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid).

Double Membrane Organelle

Both structures consist of double-layer membranes that are inner and outer layers.

Gives Energy

Mitochondria and Chloroplast have a similar role in providing energy to their respective cells.

Enzymes & Coenzymes

Another feature of both organelles has enzymes and coenzymes in them.

Involves O2 and CO2: Either it’s Mitochondria or Chloroplast, both utilize oxygen and carbon dioxide in their functioning.

Mobile Cells

Last but not least, both organelles can move within a living cell.

Key Dissimilarities

Despite being quite similar, there are many differences between Mitochondria and Chloroplast that are mentioned below.

General Information


They are giant, membrane-bounded organelles in all types of eukaryotic (with a distinct nucleus) cells. Mitochondria are also known as the “Power House of a Cell.” Their primary function is to metabolize energy through the cellular respiration process.


These organelles are primarily present in green plants and algae. A chloroplast is an active center of photosynthesis, which is relatively larger and more complex than a Mitochondrion cell.

Cell Shape & Location


The mitochondrial cells are colorless organelles with a bean-like shape. They are mainly present in animal and plant cells, called aerobic organisms.


In contrast, chloroplasts are naturally green in color and have a disc-like shape in the cell. Moreover, they are present in green plants, euglena, mosses, and a few algae.

Outer and Inner Chambers


It consists of two main chambers, inner and outer, which are also called cristae and matrix. The inner mitochondrial membrane turns into projections, which are later called Cristae.


On the other side, Chloroplast has two chambers, which are called stroma and thylakoids. Here the Thylakoids are the flattened sacs.



The chief purpose of the mitochondrial cell is to convert glucose to energy, called ATP. It utilizes oxygen, along with glucose to release energy and bring forth carbon dioxide and water later on. Mitochondria perform photorespiration, beta-oxidation, and oxidative phosphorylation.


On the contrary, the basic units in the thylakoid membrane of a Chloroplast are chlorophyll, carotenoids, and photosynthetic pigments. The solar energy is stored in the chloroplast of plants, which is further used to release oxygen as well. Moreover, the organelle also consumes water and carbon dioxide to form glucose (sugar). Chloroplasts are the site for photosynthesis and photorespiration.

Final Verdict

After thoroughly reading the differences between Mitochondria and Chloroplast, we realized that both are, one after the other, the central contributing organelles to a living (eukaryotic) cell. They equally function for the growth of a cell.

Note that, Mitochondria are found in almost all eukaryotic cells, while Chloroplasts are only displayed in green plants and some algae to hold the process of photosynthesis in them.

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