Ahmed Moustafa publishes the first ever mitochondria without DNA

The eukaryotic cells in most of the life forms, including human, animals, and plants, contain specialized structures, known as mitochondria, responsible for energy production. Mitochondria typically have their own DNA to encode for genes required for their function. Dr. Ahmed Moustafa, associate professor in the Department of Biology, with an international team of scientists from Germany, France, Canada, UK, Czech Republic and Egypt report for the first time ever an exception to this rule. They report mitochondria without any genetic material in the unicellular marine parasite Amoebophrya. This evolutionary peculiarity has been published in the prestigious journal Science Advances (10.1126/sciadv.aav1110). The results of this research can potentially contribute to finding innovative therapeutic solutions to mitochondrial dysfunction and aging-related diseases.