Continuous vs. Discontinuous DNA Synthesis

This animated GIF illustrates the way in which DNA replication is continuous on one strand (the "leading strand" -- the upper strand in the illustration) but discontinuous on the other (the "lagging strand" -- the lower strand in the illustration). To see the difference, watch the process on the upper strand during one round of replication, then the next time, watch the lower stand.

 This is a simplified illustration of the events of replication following just the newly made DNA strands. The actual three-dimensional configuration of the replicating DNA molecule bound with the enzyme complex responsible for these events has been hypothesized to involve looping of the lagging strand such that the two strands are being replicated in a parallel fashion.

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 Another animated presentation of this process can be found here (Thanks to Mark Griep's Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln).

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