Mitochondrial DNA in the oocyte and the developing embryo.
Mitochondria play a primary role in cellular energetic metabolism, homeostasis, and death. They possess their own multicopy genome, which is maternally transmitted. Mitochondria are directly involved at several levels in the reproductive process since their functional status influences the quality of oocytes and contributes to the process of fertilization and embryonic development. This chapter discusses recent findings concerning mitochondrial DNA content and its expression during oogenesis, fertilization, and early embryonic development.