PCR based determination of mitochondrial DNA copy number in multiple species

Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1241:23-38. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1875-1_3.


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number is a critical component of overall mitochondrial health. In this chapter, we describe methods for isolation of both mtDNA and nuclear DNA (nucDNA) and measurement of their respective copy numbers using quantitative PCR. Methods differ depending on the species and cell type of the starting material and availability of specific PCR reagents.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Calibration
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / isolation & purification
  • Gene Dosage*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Rats


  • DNA, Mitochondrial