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Mitochondrial genetics. Are there really only maternally inherited mitochondria in our cells? What happens if paternal mitochondria happen to be present in the autosomal/germ cells? Is maternal mtDNA inheritance a universal mechanism that works for the en
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Mothers pass on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to their offspring. Paternal mtDNA is considered to cause abnormalities in the most mammalian and human organisms.
Is it true? Are there really only maternally inherited mitochondria in our cells? What happens if paternal mitochondria happen to be present in the autosomal/germ cells? Is maternal mtDNA inheritance a universal mechanism that works for the entire living creatures and what are the benefits?
Mitochondrion is an organelle with a specific subset of its own DNA (mtDNA), which different from chromosomal DNA in most organisms. Its DNA is a plasmid, - an unwrapped circular bacterial DNA molecule. According to the recent hypotheses, a mitochondrion as a bacterium had potentially merged with the single eukaryotic cell to form symbiotic relationships. These 'infected' cells had further formed organisms - ancestors of present species. Organisms had inherited mitochondria through thousands of years. One of the most interesting observations made by recent studies is the pattern of mtDNA inheritance in humans and most eukaryotic multicellular organisms excluding hybrids (interspecific crosses) and plants (Foley, 2003; Hayashida, 2005). In humans it is strictly a mother who passes mtDNA on to the offspring, while hybrids
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