This DNA in the mitochondria possess exclusive women rights: It is passed on from the mother to the child and has nothing to do with the father. This may be the answer as to why the females of many species enjoy a longer life span than the males.
Harmful mutations may mount up due to direct line of inheritance says a new study mentioned in the Journal of Current biology. Normally the natural assortment keeps the damaging mutational metamorphosis to a bare minimum making certain that they’re not passed down to the progeny. But if the DNA in the mitochondria mutates in such a way that it is detrimental only to the males in the species and the females are let off scot free, the unaware mother goes on ahead and passes it to both the sons and the daughters.
“If a mitochondrial mutation pops up that is benign in females, or a mutation pops up that is beneficial to females, this mutation will slip through the gates of natural selection and go through to the next generation,” said Damian Dowling, an evolutionary biologist at Monash Univeristy in Australia who is researching the study.
The final consequence is that a pack of mutations are passed on that are harmless for the female but result in males having a shorter life span.
The “Mother’s curse experiment
The Dowling team named the study as “Mother’s curse” and the experiment was done on Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit flies. The flies selected were the ones with the same cellular DNA or with standardized nuclear genomes. DNA from the mitochondria of 13 varieties of fruit flies found worldwide was inserted into the standardized nuclear genome flies.
“The only genetic difference across the strains of flies lay in the origin of the mitochondria,” claimed Dowling. The life span of each strain of fly was carefully studied and they found a vast disparity in males than the females.
“There was a lot of variation in terms of male longevity and male aging, but almost no variation in the female parameters of aging,” Dowling said. “This provides very strong evidence that there are lots of mutations within the mitochondrial genome that are having an effect on male aging, but are having no affect whatsoever on female aging.”
The research team felt that a group of mutations were taking place within the genome collectively plotting up to reduce male life span. Even the male