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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2000 Nov 29;355(1403):1573-80.

Do mitochondria recombine in humans?

Author information

1
Centre for the Study of Evolution and School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. a.c.eyre-walker@sussex.ac.uk

Abstract

Until very recently, mitochondria were thought to be clonally inherited through the maternal line in most higher animals. However, three papers published in 2000 claimed population-genetic evidence of recombination in human mitochondrial DNA. Here I review the current state of the debate. I review the evidence for the two main pathways by which recombination might occur: through paternal leakage and via a mitochondrial DNA sequence in the nuclear genome. There is no strong evidence for either pathway, although paternal leakage seems a definite possibility. However, the population-genetic evidence, although not conclusive, is strongly suggestive of recombination in mitochondrial DNA. The implications of non-clonality for our understanding of human and mitochondrial evolution are discussed.

PMID:
11127902
PMCID:
PMC1692889
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2000.0718
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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