Biology as Poetry: Cell Biology

Bacteriophage Ecology Group


Extensive cell membrane infoldings particularly as seen in the inner membrane of mitochondria.

Cristae are pretty much the defining structure of mitochondria. They essentially provide mitochondria with an increased surface-to-volume ratio which in this case occurs particularly because the mitochondria inner membranes holds numerous molecules that are crucial to the functioning of cellular respiration. These molecules include especially the components of the electron transport chain but also ATP synthase molecules.

Note that free-living bacteria exist which also possess cristae.

The thylakoids play an analogous role in chloroplasts and cyanobacteria.

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