Mitochondrial DNA Mitochondria are structures inside the cells
of the body that are responsible for energy production.
They contain their own DNA, and they replicate independently from the cell.
Mitochondria are passed through a mother’s egg directly to both her sons and daughters.
In turn, her daughter, but not her son, passes mitochondrial DNA to her children.
Because mitochondrial DNA is passed through the maternal line, from mother to child, it
contains information about a small number of a person’s ancestors.
However, since it passes from generation to generation with very little change, mitochondrial
DNA is a rich source of information for deep ancestry, going back thousands of years.