Difference Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Replication

DNA replication is the process by which two identical replicas of a DNA are obtained from the original DNA strand. The DNA replicates before the cell division occurs. Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA replicate in a semi-conservative manner. However, there are a few differences between the prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA replication based on their size and complexity in genetic material.

Let us have a look at the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic replication in detail.

Also Read: Eukaryotic Cells

Prokaryotic Replication vs Eukaryotic Replication

Following are the important difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic replication:

Prokaryotic Replication Eukaryotic Replication
This process occurs in prokaryotic cells. This process occurs in eukaryotic cells.
It is a continuous process. This process occurs in the S-phase of cell cycle.
Circular, double-stranded DNA Linear, double-stranded DNA with end
The DNA replicates in the cytoplasm The DNA replicates in the nucleus
Single origin of replication Multiple origins of replication
Small amount of DNA The DNA is 50 times more than prokaryotic DNA
DNA polymerase I and III are involved DNA polymerase ɑ, δ and ε are involved.
Large okazaki fragments Small okazaki fragments
The process is rapid, 2000 base pairs per second The process is slow, 100 base pairs per second
Two circular chromosomes are obtained Two sister chromatids are obtained
DNA gyrase is required DNA gyrase is not required

Prokaryotic DNA Replication

This is the process by which the genome of prokaryotic cells duplicates so that it can be transformed into a daughter cell. The DNA is circular, double-stranded and found in the cytoplasm. A single origin of replication results in the formation of two replication forks.

The initiation and elongation of prokaryotic DNA is carried out by the enzyme DNA polymerase III. The nucleotides are added in the 5’ to 3’ direction. The nicks formed are joined by the enzyme ligase.

Eukaryotic DNA Replication

The eukaryotic DNA is present inside the nucleus. The process involves three steps – initiation, elongation and termination. DNA helicase and single-strand binding proteins are responsible for unwinding and stabilization. The replication process is halted as the leading strand of one replication bubble meets the lagging strand of another replication bubble.

Similarities Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Replication

The similarities between prokaryotic and eukaryotic replication can be understood as follows:

  • Both the replication processes occur before nuclear division.
  • The DNA involved in both processes are double-stranded.
  • The replication occurs in 5’ to 3’ direction.
  • The single-strand binding proteins stabilizes the unwound DNA.
  • The RNA primer is synthesised by the enzyme primase.
  • Both the DNA replications are bi-directional.

Also Read: Difference between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

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