Mitochondrial Eve

In the field of human genetics, Mitochondrial Eve refers to the matrilineal most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of modern humans. In other words, she was the most recent woman from whom all living humans today descend, on their mother's side, and through the mothers of those mothers and so on, back until all lines converge on one person. Because all mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is generally passed from mother to offspring without recombination, all mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in every living person is directly descended from hers by definition. Mitochondrial Eve is the female counterpart of Y-chromosomal Adam, the patrilineal most recent common ancestor, although they lived thousands of years apart.

Each ancestor (of people now living) in the line back to the matrilineal MRCA had female contemporaries such as sisters, female cousins, etc. and some of these female contemporaries may have descendants living now (with one or more males in their descendancy line). But none of the female contemporaries of the "Mitochondrial Eve" has descendants living now in an unbroken female line.

Mitochondrial Eve is estimated to have lived around 200,000 years ago, most likely in East Africa, when Homo sapiens sapiens (anatomically modern humans) were developing as a population distinct from other human sub-species.

Mitochondrial Eve lived later than Homo heidelbergensis and the emergence of Homo neanderthalensis, but earlier than the out of Africa migration. The dating for 'Eve' was a blow to the multiregional hypothesis, and a boost to the hypothesis that modern humans originated relatively recently in Africa and spread from there, replacing more "archaic" human populations such as Neanderthals. As a result, the latter hypothesis became dominant.

Read more about Mitochondrial Eve:  Nomenclature, Female and Mitochondrial Ancestry, Implications of Dating and Placement of Eve, In Popular Science

Other articles related to "mitochondrial, mitochondrial eve, eve":

Mcra - MRCA of A Population Identified By A Single Genetic Marker - Patrilineal and Matrilineal MRCA
... Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is nearly immune to sexual mixing, unlike the nuclear DNA whose chromosomes are shuffled and recombined in Mendelian inheritance ... Mitochondrial DNA, therefore, can be used to trace matrilineal inheritance and to find the Mitochondrial Eve (also known as the African Eve), the most recent common ancestor of all humans via the ... Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam have been established by researchers using genealogical DNA tests ...
Mitochondrial Eve - In Popular Science
... Newsweek reported on Mitochondrial Eve based on the Cann et al ... The Seven Daughters of Eve presents the theory of human mitochondrial genetics to a general audience ... ancestry in the context of a river of genes and shows that Mitochondrial Eve is one of the many common ancestors we can trace back to via different ...
Allan Wilson - Career and Scientific Contributions
... Rebecca Cann and Mark Stoneking on the so-called "Mitochondrial Eve" hypothesis ... for tracking human evolutionary history, he started to focus on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) — genes that are found in mitochondria in the cytoplasm of the cell outside the nucleus ... widely known in the media and popular culture as the "Mitochondrial Eve" ...

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