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Mitochondrial activity in gametes and transmission of viable mtDNA

Overview of attention for article published in Biology Direct, May 2015
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (89th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (84th percentile)

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1 blog
9 X users
1 Facebook page
2 Google+ users


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61 Mendeley
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Mitochondrial activity in gametes and transmission of viable mtDNA
Published in
Biology Direct, May 2015
DOI 10.1186/s13062-015-0057-6
Pubmed ID

Liliana Milani, Fabrizio Ghiselli


The retention of a genome in mitochondria (mtDNA) has several consequences, among which the problem of ensuring a faithful transmission of its genetic information through generations despite the accumulation of oxidative damage by reactive oxygen species (ROS) predicted by the free radical theory of ageing. A division of labour between male and female germ line mitochondria was proposed: since mtDNA is maternally inherited, female gametes would prevent damages by repressing oxidative phosphorylation, thus being quiescent genetic templates. We assessed mitochondrial activity in gametes of an unusual biological system (doubly uniparental inheritance of mitochondria, DUI), in which also sperm mtDNA is transmitted to the progeny, thus having to overcome the problem of maintaining genetic information viability while producing ATP for swimming. Ultrastructural analysis shows no difference in the conformation of mitochondrial cristae in male and female mature gametes, while mitochondria in immature oocytes exhibit a simpler internal structure. Our data on transcriptional activity in germ line mitochondria show variability between sexes and different developmental stages, but we do not find evidence for transcriptional quiescence of mitochondria. Our observations on mitochondrial membrane potential are consistent with mitochondria being active in both male and female gametes. Our findings and the literature we discussed may be consistent with the hypothesis that template mitochondria are not functionally silenced, on the contrary their activity might be fundamental for the inheritance mechanism. We think that during gametogenesis, fertilization and embryo development, mitochondria undergo selection for different traits (e.g. replication, membrane potential), increasing the probability of the transmission of functional organelles. In these phases of life cycle, the great reduction in mtDNA copy number per organelle/cell and the stochastic segregation of mtDNA variants would greatly improve the efficiency of selection. When a higher mtDNA copy number per organelle/cell is present, selection on mtDNA deleterious mutants is less effective, due to the buffering effect of wild-type variants. In our opinion, a combination of drift and selection on germ line mtDNA population, might be responsible for the maintenance of viable mitochondrial genetic information through generations, and a mitochondrial activity would be necessary for the selective process. This article was reviewed by Nick Lane, Fedor S Severin and Fyodor Kondrashov.

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X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 61 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 1 2%
Netherlands 1 2%
Switzerland 1 2%
Unknown 58 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 10 16%
Researcher 9 15%
Student > Bachelor 9 15%
Student > Master 7 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 4 7%
Other 13 21%
Unknown 9 15%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 21 34%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 14 23%
Medicine and Dentistry 6 10%
Environmental Science 2 3%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 1 2%
Other 4 7%
Unknown 13 21%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 16. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 23 November 2020.
All research outputs
of 24,378,986 outputs
Outputs from Biology Direct
of 519 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 269,533 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Biology Direct
of 13 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 24,378,986 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 519 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.4. This one has done well, scoring higher than 83% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 269,533 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 13 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its contemporaries.