Are mitochondria inherited paternally in Ascaris?

Timothy J.C. Anderson, Richard Komuniecki, Patricia R. Komuniecki, John Jaenike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is finding increasing usage as a tool for studying the systematics, population genetics and epidemiology of parasitic helminths, and is generally assumed to be inherited maternally. Yet two features of Ascaris biology-fertilization by large amoeboid sperm and some novel aspects of sperm mitochondria-suggest a paternal component to mitochondrial inheritance in this organism. In this study, we compare mtDNA restriction patterns of parental worms with those of their progeny but find no evidence for paternal inheritance. We suggest that sperm-derived mitochondria are actively destroyed or outcompeted by maternal organelles in the zygote.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1004
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Ascaris
  • mtDNA
  • paternal inheritance
  • restriction site polymorphism
  • sperm mitochondria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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