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What is mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)?

posted this on April 10, 2012 08:45 AM

Small structures called mitochondria reside in every cell in your body. Within each of these structures is a tiny circular genome. We call the DNA of this genome "mitochondrial DNA" or "mtDNA" for short.




Unlike the rest of your genome, mtDNA is only passed on from mother to child; mtDNA inheritance is "maternal," tracking your ancestry through your mother, your mother's mother, your mother's mother's mother, and so on.



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