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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jim StewartORCiD
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
Since the unexpected discovery that mitochondria contain their own distinct DNA molecules, studies of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have yielded many surprises. In animals, transmission of the mtDNA genome is explicitly non-Mendelian, with a very high number of genome copies being inherited from the mother after a drastic bottleneck. Recent work has begun to uncover the molecular details of this unusual mode of transmission. Many surprising variations in animal mitochondrial biology are known; however, a series of recent studies have identified a core of evolutionarily conserved mechanisms relating to mtDNA inheritance, e.g., mtDNA bottlenecks during germ cell development, selection against specific mtDNA mutation types during maternal transmission, and targeted destruction of sperm mitochondria. In this review, we outline recent literature on the transmission of mtDNA in animals and highlight the implications for human health and ageing.
Author(s): Stewart JB, Larsson NG
Publication type: Review
Publication status: Published
Journal: PLoS Genetics
Online publication date: 09/10/2014
Acceptance date: 10/09/2014
ISSN (print): 1553-7390
ISSN (electronic): 1553-7404
PubMed id: 25299061