Nuclear Sequences of Mitochondrial Origin as Phylogenetic Markers
Published Online: 18 OCT 2010
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Hazkani-Covo, E. 2010. Nuclear Sequences of Mitochondrial Origin as Phylogenetic Markers. eLS.
- Published Online: 18 OCT 2010
Numts (nuclear sequence of mitochondrial origin) are fragments of mitochondrial DNA present in the nuclear genomes of most eukaryotes. Numts have unique characteristics that make them useful as nuclear and mitochondrial phylogenetic markers. Numts utilities include analysis of nuclear mutational spectra and the relative rates of the mitochondria and the nucleus. Additionally, because numt appearance in the same position in multiple species indicates its ancestry, numts are valuable for phylogentic tree reconstruction. Numts are also beneficial to study mitochondrial evolution as it can uncover extinct mtDNA variations. Despite the potential for confusion with bona fide mtDNA, the increasing number of genomes sequenced will make it easier to identify numts from mitochondrial DNA and to use them for taxonomy and phylogeny.
Numts have unique characteristics that make them suitable as phylogenetic markers.
Verified numts are useful both for the study of mitochondrial evolution and for the study of nuclear evolution.
- molecular evolution;
- mitochondrial pseudogenes;
- phylogenetic marker