When does DNA replication occur?
DNA replication occurs during the S phase (synthesis phase) of the cell cycle, which is the period of the cell cycle during which the cell’s DNA is replicated. DNA replication is a complex process that occurs in all living organisms to ensure that their genetic material is accurately passed on from one generation to the next. It occurs in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, and it is essential for the maintenance of genetic stability.
During DNA replication, the two strands of the double helix are unwound and separated by enzymes called helicases. Each strand of the DNA molecule then serves as a template for the synthesis of a new complementary strand. This synthesis is carried out by enzymes called polymerases, which add nucleotides to the growing strand in a specific order according to the base-pairing rules (A with T, and C with G).
DNA replication is a semi-conservative process, meaning that each daughter molecule receives one original and one new strand of DNA. This ensures that the genetic information is accurately transmitted from one generation to the next.
In summary, DNA replication occurs during the S phase of the cell cycle and is essential for the maintenance of genetic stability. It involves the unwinding and separation of the two strands of the DNA double helix, and the synthesis of new complementary strands using the original strands as templates.