Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 28 (2), 79-89

Doubly Uniparental Inheritance: Two Mitochondrial Genomes, One Precious Model for Organelle DNA Inheritance and Evolution

Affiliations
Review

Doubly Uniparental Inheritance: Two Mitochondrial Genomes, One Precious Model for Organelle DNA Inheritance and Evolution

Marco Passamonti et al. DNA Cell Biol.

Abstract

Eukaryotes have exploited several mechanisms for organelle uniparental inheritance, so this feature arose and evolved independently many times in their history. Metazoans' mitochondria commonly experience strict maternal inheritance; that is, they are only transmitted by females. However, the most noteworthy exception comes from some bivalve mollusks, in which two mitochondrial lineages (together with their genomes) are inherited: one through females (F) and the other through males (M). M and F genomes show up to 30% sequence divergence. This inheritance mechanism is known as doubly uniparental inheritance (DUI), because both sexes inherit uniparentally their mitochondria. Here, we review what we know about this unusual system, and we propose a model for evolution of DUI that might account for its origin as sex determination mechanism. Moreover, we propose DUI as a choice model to address many aspects that should be of interest to a wide range of biological subfields, such as mitochondrial inheritance, mtDNA evolution and recombination, genomic conflicts, evolution of sex, and developmental biology. Actually, as research proceeds, mitochondria appear to have acquired a central role in many fundamental processes of life, which are not only in their metabolic activity as cellular power plants, such as cell signaling, fertilization, development, differentiation, ageing, apoptosis, and sex determination. A function of mitochondria in the origin and maintenance of sex has been also proposed.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 39 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback