Fish mitochondrial genomics: sequence, inheritance and functional variation

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Mitochondrial genomic research currently primarily focuses on the analysis and understanding of how mitochondrial mutations produce detrimental phenotypes in humans. Reasons for this focus on negative impacts include the large number of human diseases that are known to result from specific mitochondrial genomes, and the long held belief that mitochondria change only through the accumulation of mutations due to its clonal, maternal inheritance. Recent studies are beginning to challenge these preconceptions and have shown that mitochondrial genomes can have significant positive impacts. Although the number of studies using fishes as models in mitochondrial research is limited, many fish model species provide excellent opportunity for furthering the understanding of mitochondrial genomes, their interactions with the nuclear genome, the potential for understanding the mechanisms of how functional variation effects organisms and how selection for positive functional variation effects population variation.

Keywords: coadaptation; coevolution; functional variation; maternal inheritance; metabolism; mtDNA

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2008

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