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mtDNA / Mitochondrial DNA

From Wikipedia

ch13r.18

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is the DNA located in organelles called mitochondria. Most other DNA present in eukaryotic organisms is found in the cell nucleus. Mitochondrial DNA was discovered by Margit M. K. Nass and Sylvan Nass by electron microscopy as DNAase-sensitive thread inside mitochondria,[1] and by Ellen Haslbrunner, Hans Tuppy and Gottfried Schatz by biochemical assays on highly purified mitochondrial fractions.[2]

Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA are thought to be of separate evolutionary origin, with the mtDNA being derived from the circular genomes of the bacteria that were engulfed by the early ancestors of today’s eukaryotic cells. Each mitochondrion is estimated to contain 2-10 mtDNA copies.[3] In the cells of extant organisms, the vast majority of the proteins present in the mitochondria (numbering approximately 1500 different types in mammals) are coded for by nuclear DNA, but the genes for some of them, if not most, are thought to have originally been of bacterial origin, having since been transferred to the eukaryotic nucleus during evolution.

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