Inheritance of mitochondrial DNA, Douglas Wallace
Interviewee: Douglas Wallace. Molecular geneticist Douglas Wallace talks about the way mitochondrial DNA is inherited. (DNAi Location: Applications > Human origins > Gene genealogy > Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) > Inheriting mtDNA)
Now what's interesting about the mitochondria and the mitochondrial DNA is they are not passed along with the chromosomes as are most genes in our cells, but they are passed through the egg of the mother at fertilization. And that's because the egg has about 200,000 mitochondria whereas the sperm have just a few, and those that do enter the egg are actually destroyed. So in fact then, the mitochondria and their DNA are inherited exclusively from the mother.
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Molecular geneticist Douglas Wallace talks about the origin of our mitochondria and the DNA within.
Geneticist Douglas Wallace explains a method of mapping a population's history using the mutations accumulated by its members.
This illustration shows the two major mitochondrial DNA lineages. The lower branch includes only African populations. The upper branch has both African and non-African members.
Mitochondrial DNA research pioneer Douglas Wallace speaks about mitochondrial DNA and theories of human evolution.
Mitochondrial DNA research pioneer Douglas Wallace speaks about the populations he samples and the direct application of the research.
Geneticist Mark Stoneking, one of the authors of a controversial 1987 paper on mtDNA, talks about our common female ancestor.
Mitochondrial DNA pioneer Douglas Wallace speaks about a possible migration of people from Europe to the Americas, 15,000 years ago.
Mitochondrial DNA pioneer Douglas Wallace explains the movement of different lineages of humans from Africa into Europe and Asia.
Mitochondrial DNA pioneer Douglas Wallace speaks about the movement of different populations out of Africa.
A pedigree illustrating maternal inheritance of mtDNA and paternal inheritance of the Y chromosome.