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an enzyme that untwists the double helix at the replication forks, separating the two parental strands and making them available as template strands

Replication fork

A Y-shaped region on a replicating DNA molecule where new strands are growing.

DNA Polymerase III

Adds new DNA nucleotides to a replicating DNA molecule

DNA Polymerase II

enzyme that proofreads the daughter strand of replicated DNA and corrects any base pairing errors


Glues together fragments of DNA

Okasaki fragments

short segments of DNA synthesized in the lagging strand during DNA replication


An enzyme that joins RNA nucleotides to make the primer.

RNA primer

Sequence of RNA primers bound to a region of single-stranded DNA to initiate DNA replication.

leading strand

the new continuous complementary DNA strand synthesized along the template strand in the mandatory 5' --> 3' direction

Lagging strand

A discontinuously synthesized DNA strand that elongates in a direction away from the replication fork.


single-ring nitrogenous base, found in DNA and RNA; either cytosine, thymine, or uracil


double-ring nitrogenous base, found in DNA and RNA; either adenine or guanine


deoxyribonucleic acid, the material that contains the information that determines inherited characteristics

Semiconservative replication

Replicated molecule of DNA containing one strand from the original template molecule and one newly synthesized strand.


a purine (nitrogenous base) component of nucleotides and nucleic acids; links with cytosine in DNA


purine base found in DNA and RNA; pairs with thymine in DNA and with uracil in RNA


a pyrimidine component of nucleic acids and nucleotides; pairs with adenine in DNA


a base found in DNA and RNA and derived from pyrimidine; pairs with guanine

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