Definition of Mitochondrial Dna

Mitochondrial DNA is a small, circular chromosome that is found inside the mitochondria. Mitochondria are known to be the powerhouse of cells as they are the sites of cellular respiration which produces energy to carry out the activities of the cell. This mitochondrial DNA is inherited by the offspring from the mother. It is quite different from that of normal DNA which is inherited from both parents. It is composed of approximately 16,500 base pairs.


Since mitochondrion has its own DNA, it is known as self-replicating organelle and it encodes such proteins only which are mitochondrion-specific. The enzymes and proteins that are required to produce ATP through different biological processes are being produced by mitochondrial DNA.

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