Positive and negative selection on the mitochondrial genome

Trends Genet. 2007 Jun;23(6):259-63. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2007.03.008. Epub 2007 Apr 5.


Several recent studies have confirmed that mitochondrial DNA variation and evolution are not consistent with the neutral theory of molecular evolution and might be inappropriate for estimating effective population sizes. Evidence for the action of both positive and negative selection on mitochondrial genes has been put forward, and the complex genetics of mitochondrial DNA adds to the challenge of resolving this debate. The solution could lie in distinguishing genetic drift from 'genetic draft' and in dissecting the physiology of mitochondrial fitness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genes, Mitochondrial*
  • Genetic Drift
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Selection, Genetic*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial