The primary function of mitochondria is to generate energy in the form of ATP to fuel cellular metabolism. Maintaining an adequate source of energy is essential for normal embryo development. Although a mitochondrial genome is substantially smaller than a nuclear genome, it is subject to a higher mutation rate. Many mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations are simply genetic variations with no known disease association; however, several mtDNA mutations cause devastating human diseases including Leigh syndrome, Leber syndrome, and epilepsy.
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RELEVANCE OF MITOCHONDRIA IN PREIMPLANTATION GENETIC SCREENING
Furthermore, recent research suggests a correlation between abnormally high mtDNA and poor embryo implantation potential. Consequently, embryos that are chromosomally normal are less likely to implant and develop if they contain abnormally high levels of mitochondrial DNA.