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Definition

Organelles found within the cell cytoplasm that are responsible for energy production. They contain a small genome of about 16,000 bases encoding 37 genes. This DNA is referred to as mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA.

Use in clinical context

Genetic conditions exist that affect the function of mitochondria. The cause of these conditions can be due to variants in either the mitochondrial DNA or the nuclear DNA. Mitochondria are only inherited from the mother. It is therefore possible where there is a known condition in the mitochondrial DNA to use mitochondrial transfer during IVF to prevent these conditions being passed from mother to child.

Related terms

Sperm | Variant

Last updated on 29th May, 2019