Difference between PCR and DNA Replication


PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is a laboratory technique that is used to amplify the desired genome. It is most commonly used for research and diagnostic purposes. At first, the target DNA is denatured to single-stranded templates. This involves the breaking of hydrogen bonds between them. Then, the annealing of the primer is done to each strand to produce a new one. Finally, elongation of the new strands occurs. Thus, multiple copies of the target genome are obtained.

DNA Replication

It is a biological process by which an original DNA replicates itself to produce two similar copies. It is seen as an essential DNA repair mechanism. Here, the DNA strands separate using the helicase enzyme. The separated DNA acts as a template for the new copies.

The three types of DNA replication are –

  • Conservative replication
  • Dispersive replication
  • Semiconservative replication

Difference between PCR and DNA Replication


DNA Replication

PCR is a laboratory technique to amplify the desired DNA or genome.

It is a natural process by which DNA makes multiple copies of itself.

The three steps involved in PCR are – denaturation, annealing, and extension.

The three steps involved in DNA replication – are initiation, elongation, and termination.

It is an artificial process that is done at different temperatures.

It is a natural process that happens at body temperature.

It is done for research and diagnostic purposes.

It is seen as a DNA repair mechanism.

Explore: PCR – Polymerase Chain Reaction

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between PCR and DNA Replication

What are the steps involved in DNA replication?

At first, the helicase enzyme helps to unpack the DNA strands. Then, DNA polymerase binds with RNA primers and adds nucleotides. The elongation process happens with the addition of new nucleotides. Finally, after replication, the primers are removed, and the gaps are sealed with ligase.

What are the uses of PCR?

PCR helps to generate multiple copies of the target genome in a short span. It is a fast and less tedious process compared to other biological methods. It is used as a tool in forensics, genetic engineering, disease diagnosis and medical research.

What is conservative and semiconservative replication?

In conservative replication, one entirely new and one parent DNA are produced from a single parent DNA, which serves as a template. Here, the parent DNA is conserved during replication. Semiconservative replication produces two copies of DNA in such a way that one strand is from the original DNA, and the other one is a new strand.

Also Read: DNA Replication Process

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