GENE201 Module 2 M2A2: The mtDNA Inheritance Project
In this activity, you will answer questions on a fictional scenario involving mtDNA, which will evaluate your understanding of how mtDNA and X-DNA is transmitted through a family tree.
As shown in the abbreviated and condensed descendant chart, George and Mary (Smith) Simmons had three daughters. According to your research, George and Mary are your ancestors, and you would like to learn more about their DNA. You have identified a living descendant (shown by the dotted box) of each of the three daughters of George and Mary who is willing to take any DNA test you request.
Based on your understanding of mtDNA and the descendant chart, answer the following questions:
If you only wanted to learn about Mary Smith’s mtDNA, which—if any—of the three living descendants could you ask to take an mtDNA test?
If you only wanted to learn about Mary Smith’s mtDNA, which of the three living descendants would be unable to take an mtDNA test for that purpose?
For the individual(s) identified in response to question #2, why would he or she be unable to take an mtDNA test to learn about Mary Smith’s mtDNA?
If all of the three living descendants take an mtDNA test, could their results be identical? Why or why not?