Difference between Coding Strand and Template Strand

Both coding and template strands are distinct strands of a DNA structure. They differ only by a few properties and functions.

Coding Strand

The coding strand is the DNA strand whose base sequence is similar to its primary transcript (RNA). This strand contains codons, while the non-coding strand contains anticodons.

The coding strand serves as a template for producing complementary RNA.

Template Strand

The term template strand refers to the DNA sequence that can duplicate itself during mRNA synthesis. The cell uses a non-coding/antisense DNA sequence as a template to produce mRNA.

Difference between Coding Strand and Template Strand

Coding Strand

Template Strand

The coding strand determines the correct nucleotide sequence of mRNA. The template strand acts as a base for mRNA transcription.
It is also known as sense strand (plus strand) or coding strand. It is the antisense strand (minus strand) or a non-coding strand.
They do not take part in the transcription process. Here, they take part in the transcription. They help in the formation of mRNA.
The coding strand is directed in the 3’ to 5’ direction. The template strand is directed in the 5’ to 3’ direction.
The coding strand has a complementary nucleotide sequence. The template strand does not have any complementary sequence.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is mRNA?

Messenger RNA or mRNA is a single unit of an RNA sequence that is complementary to a DNA molecule. They act as messengers in carrying information from DNA to the cytoplasm. Thus, they serve as a template for protein synthesis.


What is a transcription process?

DNA makes its own copies and code for RNA by a process called transcription. Later, these RNA codes for proteins by the process of translation.
Extended Reading: Transcription of DNA


What is protein synthesis?

The ribosomes produce proteins based on the information provided by the mRNA. The mRNA molecule translates to form an amino acid sequence, which acts as a building block for proteins. The interaction by which the mRNA codes for a specific protein is known as protein synthesis or translation.

Also Read: Translation


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