Talk about the structure of the mitochondrial DNA compared to Nucleus DNA. Mitochondrial DNA is double-stranded and circular in structure while nuclear DNA is also double stranded but linear in nature. Nuclear DNA is enclosed by a nuclear membrane but mitochondrial DNA is not. Each mitochondrial organelle contains dozens of copies DNA making up thousands of copies per cell. Nuclear DNA has only two copies of data per cell. In humans, the mitochondrial DNA genome includes 16,569 DNA base pairs while the nuclear genome has 3.3 billion DNA base pairs. .
What are the functions of mitochondrial DNA? Mitochondrial DNA includes 37 genes which drive the function of the organelle. Thirteen genes include the instructions for enzyme production that will be used in mitochondria. The remainder tells the mitochondrial how to produce energy for the body to use. This differs from nuclear DNA because these genes tell the cell how to act within the body as a whole .

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Mitochondrial DNA in most mammals is inherited from the mother only. Explain why? When sperm and egg come together to produce a zygote, the only nuclear material comes from the sperm, the remaining cytoplasm and organelles come from the ovum. Therefore, mitochondrial DNA comes from the mother and all of these genes indicate maternal hereditary genes. .

In plant cells, mitochondrial DNA is also present in the mitochondria, do you think a similar DNA is also present in the plastids? Plastids are cell organelles found in plant and algae cells. Mitochondria and plastids evolved similarly in these cells and but it cannot be assumed that they both contain mitochondrial DNA. These two organelles have completely different jobs, and plastids would not need to have the information regarding energy production. Instead, if plastids have their own DNA, it would include the information relating to the manufacture and storage of chemical compounds.

  • Ebert, A., & Delay, G. (n.d.). Mitochondrial DNA Analysis. Retrieved from University of Vermont:
  • Major Differences. (n.d.). Differences Between Mitochondrial DNA and Nuclear DNA. Retrieved from Major Differences: