Sample Essay on Mitochondria DNA

Sample Essay on Mitochondria DNA

Mitochondria refers to structures within cells that help convert energy from food into a form that can be used by cells. Most DNA (mtDNA) is packaged in chromosomes which are within the nucleus and while this is the case, mitochondria has small amounts of DNA as well. The genetic material is known as mitochondria DNA. In humans, this kind of DNA can be assessed using the smallest chromosome coding for thirty seven genes and they contain approximately 16, 600 base pairs.

The first most significant part of human genome to be sequenced was human mitochondria DNA. In majority of the species including humans, this type of DNA is solely inherited from the mother. DNA sequencing of mitochondria DNA has been determined from a large number of individuals and organism and the comparison of the sequences represents phylogenetics mainstay in the fact that it makes it possible for biologists to elucidate evolutionary relationships among species.

In addition to this, it also permits examination of population relatedness as such it is an important aspect in the field of biology and anthropology. In most of the multicellular organisms, mtDNA is maternally   inherited (inherited from the mother).

The mechanism through which this is done includes simple dilution, degradation of sperm mtDNA in the egg fertilized and in a few organisms, failure of sperm mtDNA to find its way into the egg. Whatever the mechanism, the single parent (uniparental) mtDNA pattern inheritance is found in most plants, fungi and animals.

Also, in most of the multicellular organisms, mitochondria DNA is organized as a covalently closed, circular, double strand DNA though in many of the unicellular organisms and sometimes in rare multicellular organisms, it is found in the form of linearly organized DNA.

Most of the linear mitochondria DNA independent telomeres with different replication modes which make them the subject of research as many of the unicellular organisms with linear DNA are referred to as pathogens. For human mtDNA, one hundred to ten thousand separate copies of mtDNA are present per egg cell.

The exception to this is sperm and eggs cells. Each double stranded circular mitochondria DNA in mammals consists of 15,000 to 17,000 base pairs. The two mtDNA strands are differentiated by their nucleotide content. The strand with guanine rich content is known as the heavy strand while the one with cytosine rich content is known as the light strand.

There are many genetic disorders which are associated with changes in particular mitochondrial genes and they include cancers, cyclic vomiting syndrome, cytochrome c oxidase deficiency, Leigh syndrome, maternally inherited deafness and diabetes as well as nonsyndromic deafness among others.

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