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The mitoWheel – Visualize the Mitochondrial Genome

A potentially very useful new tool for mitochondrial DNA sequences has just launched. The mitoWheel, announced today on Attila Csordás’ blog “Pimm – Partial immortalization” is a web-based graphical interface to visualize mtDNA. Attila is actually a member of the developing team for this project. According to the mitoWheel website:

“The mitoWheel is a graphical representation of the human mitochondrial genome. Use the left and right arrows to start browsing the sequence. You can also search for a nucleotide position, a gene, or a sequence motif by clicking in the search field, typing a term and pressing ENTER. Be sure to return soon for updates introducing further tools.”

According to Attila, “The sequence used is the standard Revised Cambridge Reference Sequence.” Here is a small screenshot of the tool:

Mitowheel1

As you can see, the CRS sequence is listed along the front of the interface, and is scrollable:

Mitowheel2

While I was exploring the new tool, I thought of a few (genetic genealogy-related) features that I would love to see:

    1. Ability to upload an entire sequence or list of mutations to be translated into your own personal graphical representation (with changes from the CRS highlighted, maybe even with annotated information about those mutations);
    2. Ability to compare to sequences side-by-side (your sequence v. the CRS, or your sequence v. your 4th cousins’, for example).

This is a very interesting tool, and hopefully will be updated with new features, so stay tuned.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

One Comment

  1. Something I have been wondering about: for two people who have the same mutations in their HVR 1 & 2 regions, how likely/frequent is it that their complete mitochondrial sequences will be identical?

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