What feature or requirement of a
cell will determine how many mitochondria a cell will contain? (A) The number of proteins the cell
needs to synthesize. (B) The number of times the cell
needs to differentiate. (C) The number of nutrients the
cell requires. (D) The amount of energy the cell
Some cells, like epithelial cells,
contain very few mitochondria. While others, like muscle cells,
contain many. Why is this? You’ll recall that mitochondria are
organelles specific to eukaryotes. And their primary function is the
release of energy through cellular respiration. Because muscle cells have a higher
requirement for energy than epithelial cells, they contain more mitochondria.
Therefore, the option that
correctly describes what determines the number of mitochondria in a cell is given by
answer choice (D): the amount of energy the cell requires.