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Affinity purification of cell-specific mitochondria from whole animals resolves patterns of genetic mosaicism

A Publisher Correction to this article was published on 15 February 2018

This article has been updated


Although mitochondria are ubiquitous organelles, they exhibit tissue-specific morphology, dynamics and function. Here, we describe a robust approach to isolate mitochondria from specific cells of diverse tissue systems in Caenorhabditis elegans. Cell-specific mitochondrial affinity purification (CS-MAP) yields intact and functional mitochondria with exceptional purity and sensitivity (>96% enrichment, >96% purity, and single-cell and single-animal resolution), enabling comparative analyses of protein and nucleic acid composition between organelles isolated from distinct cellular lineages. In animals harbouring a mixture of mutant and wild-type mitochondrial genomes, we use CS-MAP to reveal subtle mosaic patterns of cell-type-specific heteroplasmy across large populations of animals (>10,000 individuals). We demonstrate that the germline is more prone to propagating deleterious mitochondrial genomes than somatic lineages, which we propose is caused by enhanced mtDNA replication in this tissue.

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Fig. 1: Cell-specific mitochondrial affinity purification (CS-MAP).
Fig. 2: Validation of CS-MAP purity.
Fig. 3: Purified mitochondria are intact and functional.
Fig. 4: CS-MAP in a variety of major tissues.
Fig. 5: Single-animal and single-cell CS-MAP.
Fig. 6: CS-MAP reveals mosaicism of mtDNA heteroplasmy.

Change history

  • 15 February 2018

    In the version of this Technical Report originally published, chromosome representations (indicated by black lines) were missing from Fig. 2a due to a technical error. The corrected version of Fig. 2a is shown below. This has now been amended in all online versions of the Technical Report.


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The authors thank R. Tweedale and L. Richards for comments on the manuscript, M. Hilliard and members of the Zuryn laboratory for discussions and comments, M. Hilliard and T. Bredy for sharing reagents and equipment, R. Amor and L. Hammond for support with microscopy, and A. Ho for support with statistics. Some strains were provided by the CGC, which is funded by the NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (P40 OD010440). This work was supported by NHMRC Project Grant 1128381, a University of Queensland Early Career Researcher Grant (UQECR1608181) and a Stafford Fox Senior Research Fellowship to S.Z., and a University of Queensland International Scholarship to C.Y.D.

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Authors and Affiliations



A.A. carried out most experiments. C.-Y.D., A.T., A.B.-G., I.K. and S.Z. contributed some experiments. A.A. and S.Z. designed and interpreted experiments and wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Steven Zuryn.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figures 1–7 and Supplementary References.

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Supplementary Table 1

Statistical source data for Figure 6.

Supplementary Table 2

List of primers used in this study.

Supplementary Table 3

List of generated transgenic strains used in this study.

Supplementary Table 4

Antibodies and the working dilutions used in this study.

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Ahier, A., Dai, CY., Tweedie, A. et al. Affinity purification of cell-specific mitochondria from whole animals resolves patterns of genetic mosaicism. Nat Cell Biol 20, 352–360 (2018).

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