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What is the difference between Leading DNA Strands and Lagging DNA Strands?

Asked by T. Lopez, Last updated: Nov 01, 2019

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2 Answers

L. Cooper

Analyst by profession but writer by heart.

L. CooperData Analyst, MCA, Newcastle
Data Analyst, MCA, Newcastle

Answered on Nov 01, 2019

The leading strand and lagging strand are the two types of DNA strands. The leading strand is the strand positioned in 5’ to 3’ direction. It is in the same direction as the replication fork. The new DNA synthesized on a leading strand is done in a continuous manner without breaks. The leading strand of DNA does not require an RNA primer.

On the other hand, the lagging strand is positioned in 3’ to 5’ direction, and it is opposite to the direction of the replication fork. This causes synthesis to be discontinuous, producing fragments of DNA. These fragments of DNA synthesized are called Okazaki fragments. The lagging strand of DNA requires primase to add RNA primer before another portion of DNA can be synthesized.

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S. Hughes

S. Hughes

Answered on Aug 19, 2019

For some people, they feel that all types of DNA are just the same. People should take note of the difference between lagging and leading DNA strands. The leading strand is the one that is synthesized towards the direction where the replication fork movement takes place.

This is synthesized continuously which means that you will find no breaks in between the strands. Lagging DNA strands is the one that is synthesized in the opposite direction. It grows away from the replication fork. This is usually fragmented and is not as continuous compared to the leading DNA strands. Both strands are responsible for the continuous growth of the DNA.

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