Does human mtDNA recombine?

J Mol Evol. Oct-Nov 2001;53(4-5):430-5. doi: 10.1007/s002390010232.


In this article we review the evidence for and against recombination in human mtDNA. If recombination occurs, there needs to be a route by which genetic material can incorporate itself into the mitochondrial genome, and hence between mitochondrial lineages. We review the evidence for possible routes and then review the current state of the population genetic evidence for recombination. We conclude that there is no firmly established route by which recombination can occur, and that while some of the population genetic evidence is suggestive of recombination, it is far from conclusive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Female
  • Genetics, Population
  • Humans
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Paternity
  • Phylogeny
  • Pseudogenes
  • Recombination, Genetic*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial