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Additional recommended knowledge
The genetic material forming the mitochondrial genome is similar in structure to that of the prokaryotic genetic material. The mitochondrial chromosome is a circular DNA molecule, but unlike prokaryotes it is much smaller and several copies are present. This similarity supports the hypothesis that mitochondria arose from intracellular bacterial symbiotes, i.e. the endosymbiotic theory.
The mitochondria of a sexually-reproducing species are inherited maternally. In this way, mitochondrial genetic diseases can affect both males and females, but can only be transmitted by females to their offspring. The human mitochondrial genome consists of 16,569 base pairs, which encodes only 13 proteins, 22 tRNAs, and 2 rRNAs.
Compared to the nuclear genome, the mitochondrial genome possesses some very interesting features:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mitochondrial_genome". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|