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electron micrograph of a mitochondrion

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) comes from mitochondria, the cell's power source, where fats and sugars are broken down to produce energy.  The mitochondria (plural for mitochondrion) are composed of spherical to rod-shaped objects in the cytoplasm of the cell.

Mitochondria contain DNA that replicates and code for some of the enzymes necessary for the cell's energy reactions.  The DNA is spherical in shape and is 16,500bp(basepair) in length.  Since the mitochondria is found in the cytoplam as opposed to the nucleus, their DNA is passed from generation to generation only through the mother.



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