Comparing DNA Replication in Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes

Difference in DNA replication of Proakryotes and Eukaryotess


DNA Replication is a vital molecular process of duplicating the genetic material. During cell division, the newly formed DNA is transferred into the daughter cell. DNA is passed from one generation to another because it consists of genes that carry the information of protein synthesis. To carry out DNA replication, the cell needs replication machinery. The replication machinery comprises of series of proteins and enzymes. The steps of replication are initiation, elongation and termination and found to be common in both prokaryotes and Eukaryotes.

In Prokaryotes, the DNA is present in cytoplasm in the form of Nucleoid. Whereas, in eukaryotes the DNA is present inside the membrane bound organelle called as nucleus. As eukaryotes are complex than prokaryotes, the similar complexity is also observed in their replication process.

The replication process in prokaryotes is very well explained in an article of DNA replication in Eicherichia coli

The following table differentiate the replication process in prokaryotes eukaryotes:

Prokaryotic DNA Replication
Eukaryotic DNA Replication
Site of ReplicationCytoplasmNucleus
Shape of ChromosomeCircularLinear
Number of ChromosomeSingle16 chromosome
Number of originSingleMultiple
Origin is called asOriCAutonomous Replicating sequences (ARS) or replicators
Origin length245 bpapprox. 150 bp
Replication directionUnidirectional or BidirectionalBidirectional
Protein that initiate DNA replicationDnaA and DnaB proteinMulti subunit complex called as origin recognition complex (ORC)
Unwinding of DNA
DnaBMinichromosome maintenance proteins
DNA polymerasesI, II, III, IV and Vα, β, γ, δ and ε
Helicase loading is done byDnaCCDC6 and CDT1
Primary DNA Polymerase enzymeDNA polymerase III
(Multiple subunit enzyme)
δ DNA polymerase
(Multiple subunit enzyme)
DNA polymerase involved in repairDNA polymerase Iε DNA polymerase
Primer is removed byDNA polymerase IFEN1 (flap endonulcease 1) and RNase H
Rate of synthesis1000 nucleotides per second50 nucleotides per second


Principles of Biochemistry, Nelson and Cox 5th Edition.

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