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Bed bugs’ odd genetic inheritance might help manage infestations

| | July 6, 2015

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. 

We already know that the bed bug is pretty weird. A single mated female can start an entire infestation, which means the insects seem okay with inbreeding; they mate through traumatic insemination; and they survive solely on blood, often ours.

Now, researchers have added another item to the list: bed bugs can inherit mitochondrial DNA from both their mothers and fathers.

Unlike the other structures in eukaryotic cells, mitochondria have their own unique DNA. In most species, this DNA passes down only on the mother’s side—essentially an exact copy from one generation to the next. Among other things, population geneticists can use mitochondria DNA to trace how groups of a species relate to one another over time.

But some creatures defy the convention, with bits of mitochondrial DNA from both the maternal and the paternal lines, at least at very low levels within a population. This is called heteroplasmy, and it’s sometimes found in fruit fliesmosquitoesbeesmussels, and more.

Read full, original post: Weird bed bug gets weirder: Genetics edition

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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