Mitochondrial Genetics

Effects of mtDNA and nuclear genetic variation

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Science  16 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6305, pp. 1246-1247
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6305.1246-c

Because mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is predominately inherited through the mother, it is hypothesized that in the case of mtDNA mutations, males might be more affected by genetic incompatibilities. Examining mtDNA and nuclear variation and interactions in fruit flies, Mossman et al. show both genotype- and sex-specific effects on gene expression. Effects on gene expression profiles were greater in females for all examined genetic differences, suggesting that females are more sensitive to genetic variation. In contrast, a greater number of genes exhibited some effects in males, but the degree of difference was lower and not significant relative to the impacts of genetic variation in females.

Genetics 10.1534/genetics.116.192328 (2016).

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