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Table 1 Milestones in mitochondrial genomics

From: Mitochondrial and nuclear genomics and the emergence of personalized medicine

Year Milestone
1909 Correns and Baur independently identify the first cases of extranuclear inheritance
1934 Goldschmidt suggests that causes for color differences in gypsy moths may reside in the mitochondria
1940 Winge and Laustsen observe ‘inbreeding degeneration’ in diploid yeast which they suggest is due to mitochondrial heredity
1944 Slaughter presents the idea of field cancerization in oral cancer
1949 Ephrussi uses genetic analysis to show that respiration-deficient baker's yeast is due to mutations in the cytoplasm, not the nucleus. Soon after, Slonimski and Ephrussi show the deficiency is due to mitochondrial dysfunction
1953 Slaughter formalizes the concept of field cancerization as preconditioning of tissues for the onset of an ‘as-yet-unknown carcinogenic agent’ which later turns out to be mitochondrial mutation
1963 Nass and Nass use an electron microscope to show that chick embryo mitochondria contain DNA
1964 Schatz et al. shows biochemically that baker's yeast mitochondria contains DNA
Late 1970s Groundwork for the field of mitochondrial genomics is firmly established
1981 Anderson et al. publishes the sequence and organization of the human mitochondrial genome as 16,569 base pairs long
1990a The US Department of Energy and the National Institute of Health present a 5-year plan to Congress for the Human Genome Project
1999a Chromosome 22 becomes the first human chromosome to be completely sequenced
2000a Working draft of the human genome is completed
2004a Human gene count estimated at 20,000 to 25,000
2006a Human genome completely sequenced in high resolution and is about 3 billion base pairs long
  1. aRecent milestones in genomics.