Image credit:Image by kjpargeter on Freepik

By Dr Tushar Chauhan October 04, 2022

Things to Know about the Mitochondrial DNA

It was believed that mitochondria were free-living bacteria in the past and thus have their own genetic material. Here are some amazing mtDNA facts.

GIF credit: Tenor

Mitochondrial or mtDNA is present in the cell cytoplasm.

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Other names are cytoplasmic DNA, maternal DNA, organelle DNA and extranuclear DNA.

Image derived: (Northwestern University)


It has its own protein synthesis machinery and can perform replication, transcription and translation, independently.

Image credit:Image by kjpargeter on Freepik.


The majority of mitochondrial DNA is circular and the copy number varies depending upon the tissue types.

Image credit: Pixabay.


The genome is double-stranded, ~16Kb in size and contains around 37 known genes.

Image credit: skietheace from Pixabay.


It is inherited from the maternal side only. And this helps to investigate maternal lineage.

Image credit: National Cancer Institute.


Recent finding suggest that It has a high mutation rate compared to nuclear DNA.

GIF credit: Gaby Guitian from Tenor


Age-related hearing loss, non-syndromic hearing loss, Pearson syndrome and Leigh syndrome are caused by mtDNA mutations.

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