Education & Science

Mitochondrial DNA Can also be Transmitted from Father to Child

The DNA is not entirely the same, and science has proven that only parts of DNA are transmitted from the mother and from the father to the fetus. Although it was previously believed that mitochondrial DNA was inherited only from the mother, specialists first discovered that it could be transmitted by the father as well.

A new study led by the Geneticician Taosheng Huang from the Children’s Medical Center in Cincinnati shows that human mitochondrial DNA can also be inherited from the paternal side. According to Science Alert, the amazing result was discovered after treating a four-year-old child.

The child who had symptoms of fatigue and muscle pain was evaluated by physicians and tested for the discovery of mitochondrial diseases. When Huang analyzed the tests and reevaluated them, he failed to understand the information discovered. “It’s impossible,” Huang said.

The reason for Huang’s amazement was the discovery of heteroplasmic cells in boy’s mitochondrial DNA, based on genetic information inherited from both the mother and the father. Although there is evidence of the paternal transmission of mitochondrial DNA to other species, the phenomenon has been extensively debated by specialists but has never been demonstrated until now. “The discovery changes all the basic field of genetics,” said Trevor Brach of the Washington University, who was not involved in the study.

When the boy’s sister presented signs of having the same heteroplasmic cells, Huang and his team analyzed the mitochondrial DNA of the mother’s parents and discovered that the woman inherited genetic information 60% from the mother and 40% from the father.

“Our results suggest that although the mother transmits the greatest genetic information from the mitochondrial DNA, there are also cases where mitochondrial DNA can be transmitted from the father,” the study specialists explained.

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