Are all of a mother’s new mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations inherited by children?

No. Mothers only pass on those mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations they inherited from their mothers and new mutations that occur in their eggs. Mutations [...]

Do all direct maternal (mitochondrial DNA) lineages trace to Africa?

Yes so far, all direct maternal (mitochondrial DNA) lineages of women alive today trace back to a common ancestor who lived in Africa 100,000 [...]

How does the formation of the human egg cell change the frequency of an mtDNA heteroplasmic mutation?

At one point during the process by which the egg cell is produced (oogenesis), the number of mitochondria present in the cell is dramatically [...]

How are mtDNA haplogroups named?

In general, scientists name mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups according to their major branch with a capital letter. They then name subclades (branches) with alternating [...]

As a genealogist, do I really need to understand all of this complex information about mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in order to use it for my research?

No. As a genealogist, you may focus on a few basic rules. These will allow you to use mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) to assist with [...]

How many generations back does mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing trace?

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing covers both recent and distant generations.

Matching on HVR1 means that you have a 50% chance of sharing a common maternal [...]