MITOCHONDRIAL DNA TESTING
Mitochondrial DNA is very specific DNA inside your cells that are only passed from Mother to children.
So, by using Mitochondrial DNA or MitoDNA for short, we can analysis specific family relationships along the maternal line.
Some examples where this type of test is useful:
Testing 2 or more sisters to see if they have the same Mother (without father)
Testing 2 or more brothers to see if they have the same Mother (without father)
If we want to see if two people are cousins through the maternal line (ie. Mothers were sisters), but we don't have DNA from their mother's, the Mitochondrial DNA test is a powerful way to prove or disprove that relationship.
TECHNICAL INFORMATION ABOUT MITOCHONDRIAL DNA
Cells that make up a human being contain two forms of DNA.
1. Nuclear DNA
2. Mitochondrial DNA
Nuclear DNA is found in the nucleus and contains all the genes that make up who we are. Nuclear DNA is the type of DNA that police use to profile a person, and what DNA labs use to perform a paternity test.
Mitochondrial DNA is a tiny circle of DNA that is found inside small cell packets called Mitochondria. Mitochondria known as the "power house of the cell" are used to create energy for the cells.
Sperm cells have mitochondria in the tail of the sperm, and not in the head of the sperm. When the sperm fertilizes a egg only the sperm head enters the egg, and the tail is dropped off. Thus, children will only receive mitochondrial DNA from their mother. Testing the sequence of mitochondrial DNA in siblings will show if they are biologically related via the maternal line.