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Extranuclear Inheritance

Genes In Mitochondria And Chloroplasts, Endosymbiotic Origin Of Mitochondria And Chloroplasts, Non-mendelian Inheritance Of Organelle Genes

Less than a decade after the rediscovery of Mendel's laws describing the inheritance of genes in the nucleus, hereditary traits were discovered that obey a different set of laws. The genes involved in this non-Mendelian pattern of inheritance reside outside the nucleus, in the cytoplasm of the cell. Specifically, they were found to reside in mitochondria, chloroplasts, or intracellular symbiotic bacteria. Those genes play important roles in the cell. Mutations in extranuclear genes are responsible for some hereditary diseases in humans and other organisms, are used in plant breeding, and are used to study population genetics and evolution.

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Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 2