Volume 33 Issue 6
Nov.  2012
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CHEN Xing, SHEN Yong-Yi, ZHANG Ya-Ping. Review of mtDNA in molecular evolution studies. Zoological Research, 2012, 33(6): 566-573. doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1141.2012.06566
Citation: CHEN Xing, SHEN Yong-Yi, ZHANG Ya-Ping. Review of mtDNA in molecular evolution studies. Zoological Research, 2012, 33(6): 566-573. doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1141.2012.06566

Review of mtDNA in molecular evolution studies

doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1141.2012.06566
  • Received Date: 2012-10-10
  • Rev Recd Date: 2012-11-10
  • Publish Date: 2012-12-08
  • Mitochondria are old organelles found in most eukaryotic cells. Due to its rapid mutation ratio, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been widely used as a DNA marker in molecular studies and has long been suggested to undergo neutral evolution or purifying selection. Mitochondria produces 95% of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) needed for locomotion, and heat for thermoregulation. Recent studies had found that mitochondria play critical roles in energy metabolism, and proved that functional constraints acting on mitochondria, due to energy metabolism and/or thermoregulation, influence the evolution of mtDNA. This review summarizes mitochondrial genome composition, evolution, and its applications in molecular evolution studies (reconstruction of species phylogenesis, the relationship between biological energy metabolism and mtDNA evolution, and the mtDNA codon reassignment influences the adaptation in different creatures).
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