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Lecture 20

Lecture 20 – Advantages of mtDNA

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Course Code
Anthropology 2235A/B
Eldon Molto

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Lecture 20 – Advantages of mtDNA  High Copy Number per Cell o Hundreds of thousands of mitochondria per cell o Each contains at least 2.2 genomes o High copy number makes it easier to obtain results on highly degraded tissues from crime scenes or mass disaster sites o Also useful for ancient DNA o Well-suited for dealing with degraded tissues like bone and teeth, sometimes even hair  High Mutation Rate in D-Loop o Though the mutation rate is high, estimated to be 10X greater than the coding region and the nuclear DNA genome o Offspring of one woman would have to keep the same name for 33 generations before they could change it by adding or subtracting a letter o Stability allows the tracing of ancestry and provides confidence that a mutation is an unlikely event  Maternal Inheritance o MtDNA is passed from mother to offspring o MtDNA is located in the midpiece of the sperm (arrow) and  Only in 1/10,000 fertilizations is there paternal leakage o MtDNA between maternally related individuals should be genetically identical o MtDNA cannot differentiate between maternally related individuals o Makes it easier to interpret the statistical resultsbecause there is only one parental contributing to the genotype o Makes testing lineages for missing persons easier o No recombination or independent assortment o Lots of genealogical sleuthing is required  Haplogroups an the Out of Africa Hypothesis o Found that in today’s world there were larger number of African haplogroups than any other continental group o Supports the idea that they were the founding population  African haplogroups: 18; European Caucasian: 10 o Estimated that there are on average 10 mtDNA polymorphism differences between unr
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