The need for DNA replication

DNA replication is the process by which a cell makes an identical copy of its DNA. This process is performed at the beginning of every cell division so that when the cell divides, each daughter cell will inherit an identical copy of the DNA.

Requirements for DNA replication

  • Original DNA template - DNA is a double helix made of two complementary strands. Each strand can be used as a template to create a new DNA molecule.
  • Free DNA nucleotides – needed to form the new strands.
  • DNA polymerase – an enzyme that adds new nucleotides to a growing strand of DNA.
  • Primers – A primer is a short strand of nucleotides that will bind to the 3’ end of the template DNA strand allowing DNA polymerase to add free DNA nucleotides.