Tag archives: mitochondrial inheritance

Mitochondrial Inheritance is Responsible for Canine Disease

Mitochondrial Inheritance is Responsible for Canine Disease

My last two articles on dominant and recessive inheritance and X-linked inheritance have built upon each other and discussed different types of inheritance: dominant, recessive and X-linked.  These three modes of genetic transmission are fairly straightforward compared with the topic of today’s post, which is mitochondrial inheritance.  Maybe you’ve never heard of the word “mitochondria” before.  Or perhaps just reading the word brings you back to high school cell biology.  While this may be a rare form of inheritance, diagnosing a dog with a mitochondrial disorder may impact how breeders choose to breed their animals.

Before we discuss the mitochondrial inheritance, let’s talk about mitochondria. Just like our bodies need organs to function (kidneys, heart, liver, etc.), cells have organelles too.  One of the organelles is called a mitochondrion or mitochondria (plural).  Mitochondria are the energy powerhouses of the cell.  They create energy through a series of biochemical reactions.  The number of mitochondria can change depending on the type of cell (muscle, nerve, skin, etc.). 

The neat thing about mitochondria is that they have their own set of DNA, called mtDNA, separate from the DNA found in the nucleus; mtDNA is ...