Mitochondrial DNA is found in the mitochondria that are present in each of our cells. This organelle is the one responsible to produce energy for our cells to carry out their functions and duty.
When it comes to ancestry DNA tests the DNA test shows results based on autosomal, maternal, and paternal DNA. In the case of the maternal DNA test, mitochondrial DNA testing is used to find the genetic inheritance link and ancestry test.
Mitochondria are used in maternal ancestry DNA tests because during pregnancy the mitochondrial DNA is passed directly from the mother to the unborn child and becomes a part of the child’s DNA. This information can be used to get ancestral information about your mother, mother’s mother, and so on.
How does mitochondrial DNA testing work?
This test works the same as most DNA tests. After ordering a test kit you will have to send a sample of cheek swab and saliva sample to be used as DNA sample. Once the sampling is done and sent back to the lab.
The sample is then used to do the sequencing of the mitochondrial DNA, the mitochondrial DNA sequencing is of the highest resolution. It can determine the genetic variant present in the mitochondrial DNA such as HVR1 and HVR2 and coding region. It allows the specialist to count in out cut out you sharing ancestral maternal DNA with someone to the highest level of conclusiveness. and due to the accuracy of the test, it is the most expensive mitochondrial DNA test.