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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

Length Heteroplasmy

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illustration of length heteroplasmy
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Length heteroplasmy is the presence of mtDNA molecules that differ in length. Extremely common, it most often appears in the electropherogram as varying numbers of Cs in certain well-known areas of the hypervariable regions. Its presence may be noted but does not usually play a role in interpretation. This is because even within an individual there may be very diverse length variants.

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