Difference between Replication and Transcription

Table of Contents

DNA replication is defined as the process involved in obtaining two daughter strands where each strand contains half of the DNA double helix. This happens in the S phase of the cell cycle. The enzymes that take part in this process are DNA Polymerase and DNA Helicase.

Transcription, on the other hand, is the process of transferring genetic information from DNA to RNA. This process is carried out in the G1 and G2 phases of the cell. It is catalysed by RNA polymerase.

To understand how they differ from each other, check out the differences given below.

Also Read: DNA Replication Experiment

Replication vs Transcription

Following are the important difference between replication and transcription:

Replication Transcription
S phase of the cell cycle
G1 and G2 phase of the cell cycle
Requires RNA primer for replication to start
Does not require a primer
DNA Polymerase, DNA Helicase
RNA polymerase, Transcriptase
Genome copy
Entire genome is copied
Only certain genes are copied
Found along the DNA strand
Found only along 1 strand of DNA
Raw material
dATP, dTTP, dCTP and dGTP
Conserving genome for further generations
Making copies of RNA of genes individually
Two daughter strands
mRNA, rRNA, non-coding RNA and tRNA
Products do not degrade Products degrade

These were some of the important difference between replication and transcription.

What Is Replication?

DNA replication is the process in which a double-stranded DNA molecule splits into two identical daughter strands. That is why during cell division, each daughter cell contains the same genetic information as the parent cell. The main enzyme responsible for DNA replication is DNA polymerase. It adds new nucleotides to each strand.

What Is Transcription?

Transcription is the conversion of DNA molecules into RNA. RNA polymerase uses one of the DNA strands as a template to synthesise a complementary RNA molecule. The RNA molecule that is synthesised is known as the transcript

Also Read: DNA Structure


Both DNA Replication and Transcription involve the generation of a new copy of the DNA in a cell. DNA transcription is involved in replicating the DNA into RNA, while DNA replication makes another copy of DNA. Both processes are involved in the production of new nucleic acids- DNA or RNA. The newly produced nucleic acids have some similarities but vary in their functions. i.e. one is involved in cell division and the other is involved in gene expression.

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