DNA Research

mtDNA Sequence Analysis

mtDNA sequence analysis is a valuable tool for determining whether individuals are biologically related through their mothers’ side of the family. For this reason, it is commonly referred to as a maternal lineage test.

The term mtDNA is short for mitochondrial DNA, a type of DNA that is found in the mitochondria, or energy-producing “powerhouses,” of the cells. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from a mother to her children, making it useful for tracing individuals’ maternal lineage. (While both sons and daughters inherit mtDNA from their mothers, only females can pass their mtDNA to their offspring.)

In an mtDNA maternal lineage test, the tested species’ mtDNA is sequenced (the order of the DNA molecules in their mtDNA is determined). These sequences are then compared to determine whether or not the individuals share the same maternal line. The mtDNA sequences of maternally related individuals will have predictable similarities.


Scienctist can use the power of DNA analysis to reconstruct a family tree. To build a DNA family tree, scientist can do a number of tests which can unambiguously determine the exact degree of relatedness between related species. Armed with this information DNA Bioscience can build a DNA family tree entirely on DNA analysis.

  Source: Wikipedia Dec. 2007
Missing Female Aphyolebias manuensis
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