I must admit, I do know biology...but am only adept in certain fields...and genetics arent exactly one of them...but these intrigue me enough to study them as a solo project for a while.
The fact that they seem to carry their own DNA, and not that of the rest of the cell is fascinating...and that they are only passed down from the female egg...sperm, or the male genes that fertilized the egg have no effect at all on mitochondria.
This raises several questions for me...
Does the fact that NEW mitochondria is not developed through fertilization cause them to develop mutations more slowly?
This would mean to me now that they would likely be one of the more "primitive" features of the cell since logic would dictate to me that it doesnt evolve or change as much as the rest of the cell (which is interesting, because that would mean it is theoretically possible to use mitochondria as a rather useful tool in tracing back species more easily once better DNA extraction methods on fossils are discovered)...or if it does...it does it by some other means than sexual reproduction.
What is special about them? Since it is believed that the single parts of the individual human cell are actually composed of what was originally several different bacteria gathering together to survive...one being what is now the nuclues...etc.
I know what its function is...or rather...what THEIR function is, but knowing that alone doesnt answer my questions.
Does anybody know of a good source to start with on this subject? My college textbooks I have only briefly mention them...and dont flesh out the subject enough to answer my questions.