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The Mitochondrial Eve  -  Who will she be?

The Mitochondrial Eve - Who will she be?

The mitochondrial genotype is inherited through the cytoplasm, and so follows the female line through the generations. Due to random sampling, mitochondrial genotypes get "lost", and so the number gradually decreases (irregularly) through the generations, and finally one mitochondrial genotype is "fixed". This produces a Mitochondrial Eve.

This is a prospective simulation - starting with 10 mitochrondrial genotypes the simulation portrays the irregular loss of variation until one genotype is fixed. A set of Thought Questions guides the student in interpreting the simulation results.

Some discussion of this learning object is at

(Keywords: genetics evolution simulation)


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