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Transmission of Functional, Wild-Type Mitochondria and the Fittest mtDNA to the Next Generation: Bottleneck Phenomenon, Balbiani Body, and Mitophagy

Department of Developmental Biology and Invertebrate Morphology, Institute of Zoology and Biomedical Research, Faculty of Biology, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Gronostajowa 9, 30-387 Krakow, Poland
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Genes 2020, 11(1), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11010104
Received: 9 December 2019 / Revised: 28 December 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
The most important role of mitochondria is to supply cells with metabolic energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). As synthesis of ATP molecules is accompanied by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is highly vulnerable to impairment and, consequently, accumulation of deleterious mutations. In most animals, mitochondria are transmitted to the next generation maternally, i.e., exclusively from female germline cells (oocytes and eggs). It has been suggested, in this context, that a specialized mechanism must operate in the developing oocytes enabling escape from the impairment and subsequent transmission of accurate (devoid of mutations) mtDNA from one generation to the next. Literature survey suggest that two distinct and irreplaceable pathways of mitochondria transmission may be operational in various animal lineages. In some taxa, the mitochondria are apparently selected: functional mitochondria with high inner membrane potential are transferred to the cells of the embryo, whereas those with low membrane potential (overloaded with mutations in mtDNA) are eliminated by mitophagy. In other species, the respiratory activity of germline mitochondria is suppressed and ROS production alleviated leading to the same final effect, i.e., transmission of undamaged mitochondria to offspring, via an entirely different route. View Full-Text
Keywords: Balbiani body; oogenesis; oocyte; mitochondria selection; mitophagy Balbiani body; oogenesis; oocyte; mitochondria selection; mitophagy
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Tworzydlo, W.; Sekula, M.; Bilinski, S.M. Transmission of Functional, Wild-Type Mitochondria and the Fittest mtDNA to the Next Generation: Bottleneck Phenomenon, Balbiani Body, and Mitophagy. Genes 2020, 11, 104.

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