MadSci Network: Cell Biology

Re: What would happen if male mitochondira did make it into the egg at fertiliz

Date: Wed Jan 10 11:45:58 2007
Posted By: Andrew Tanner, Staff, Biology/Chemistry, Morrisville State
Area of science: Cell Biology
ID: 1162430968.Cb

There have been debates as to whether or not male mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)
contributes during fertizilation.  Some researches say less then 1% of 
mtDNA maybe donated from the father, a fairly insignificant amount all 
told. Other researches say that no mtDNA is transmitted via the father. 
But assuming it occured, there wouldn't be anything abnormal with 
the individual. Whether you have mtDNA from you mother or father or both 
wouldn't really matter much as mtDNA is it's own DNA structure, and as long 
as you have mtDNA from one parent, you'll have the ability to still produce 
ATP. The thing to remember about mtDNA is that, unlike chromosomes, mtDNA is 
not copied by the cell during cell replication, it is signaled by the 
cell that cell replication is occuring and the mitochondrion does it's own 
copying which is a very unique thing in itself. Also there isn't, 
technically speaking, a male mtDNA as every male inherits his from his mother. 
The sperm itself contains significantly fewer mitochondria then would be 
found in the egg so any donation that came from the sperm would be tiny.

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