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Mitochondrial Genome

Organelle Structure And Energy Production, Mitochondrial Dna: Function And Replication, Endosymbiosis And Genome Reduction

One of the defining features of eukaryotic cells is the presence of membrane-enclosed organelles. Two of these organelles, the mitochondria and chloroplast, are unique in that they contain their own genetic material necessary for proper functioning. These organelle genomes are evolutionary relics of free-living bacteria that entered into a symbiotic relationship with a host cell. Through the process of cellular respiration, mitochondria produce about 90 percent of the chemical energy that a cell needs to survive. The discovery that mutations in the mitochondrial genome can cause a variety of human diseases has increased our interest in this "other" human genome.

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Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 3