Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Richard M Showman


Eukaryotes typically inherit mitochondria strictly maternally. There are however a group of bivalve molluscs that inherit different mitochondrial genomes from each parent. The paternally inherited mtDNA (M-type) is localized to, and dominates over the maternally inherited mtDNA (F-type) in the gonads of the male offspring, but is not normally retained in any tissue of the female offspring. This process is termed Double Uniparental Inheritance (DUI). Using quantitative PCR (qPCR), this study examines mtDNA replication compared to total DNA replication through embryonic stages of development and into early adulthood of the DUI species, Mytilus galloprovincialis. Results indicate that up through the early veliger stage of development, there is little replication of mtDNA. Between the early veliger and pediveliger stages, mtDNA replication increases dramatically, and then continues to replicate between pediveliger and 1mm spat. Rate of mtDNA replication slows after the pediveliger stage. This study also shows that mtDNA replication is not coupled to nuclear DNA replication, and that though replication of mtDNA increases between early veliger and pediveliger stages, nuclear DNA is replicating at a faster rate.


© 2014, Ellen Blenn Richardson