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Other than Humans, is there another primate who has a traceable “original Eve mtDNA”?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by James, kmm, WYSIWYG Nov 15 '16 at 5:13

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    $\begingroup$ can you give some more background information on what your talking about? Can you define "original Eve mtDNA"? $\endgroup$ – Vance L Albaugh Nov 10 '16 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ I was referring to Prof. Sykes book the Seven Daughter of Eve referred to by another as Original Eve mtDNA! My question was simple, is there a comparable circumstance in other primates? $\endgroup$ – William Denis Guest Nov 12 '16 at 14:56
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You can trace back any piece of DNA (from any life form) to a single ancestor called LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor), so the short answer is 'yes'. But be careful in your interpretation.

If you look backward in time, you can see that lineages merge (siblings merge first, then cousins merge, etc...) and you necessarily end up with a single individual. In absence of recombination (which is the case for mtDNA), you can always trace back a piece of DNA this way and always find a single ancestor. The age of this common ancestor depends mainly on the population size and demographic history of the lineage. Typically, in a panmictic diploid population of constant size $N$, the expected time to the MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) of the population is $2N$ generations.

So yes, you can find an "original Eve mtDNA" in any species. But please by "original" don't think this ancestor must have represented any novelty or anything of interest and do not make the mistake to think that before this ancestor no one had mtDNA.

The second paragraph is an extremely vulgarized explanation of coalescent theory. You should have a look at an intro to coalescent theory (wikipedia article here) but you might well need an intro to evolutionary biology first. Understanding Evolution might be a good way to go.

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    $\begingroup$ Good answer. +1 Maybe, to further clarify things for the OP, one could add three things about what the 'original Eve mtDNA' carrier was not. (i) She was not the only female alive at that time. (ii) She was not the ancestor of all genes in the gene pool. (iii) She was not necessarily a member of the species. $\endgroup$ – AlexDeLarge Nov 10 '16 at 10:18
  • $\begingroup$ Very important add-up to avoid misconception. Thank you $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Nov 10 '16 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ I was referring to Prof. Sykes book the Seven Daughter of Eve referred to by another as Original Eve mtDNA! My question was simple, is there a comparable circumstance in other primates? $\endgroup$ – William Denis Guest Nov 12 '16 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ And I was thinking the answer was pretty easy as well. Please let us know what is unclear to you in my answer. Side note: please do not post the same comment twice. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Nov 12 '16 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I am not academically trained. What had confused me was that Prof. Sykes and others, currently seem to find this "Clan Mothers" evidence surprising. However, if this is common in all life...my curiosity is satisfied. $\endgroup$ – William Denis Guest Nov 12 '16 at 20:08

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