Okazaki Fragments: Definition, Mechanism, and Diagram

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Okazaki Fragments Definition

During DNA replication, a relatively small piece of DNA is produced on the lagging strand.

DNA unwinds and the two strands split in half at the commencement of replication, creating two “prongs” that resemble a fork (thus, called replication fork).

The leading strand is 5′ to 3′ long, while the lagging strand is 3′ to 5′ long.

Unlike the leading strand, which may be produced continuously, the lagging strand is generated in small pieces known as Okazaki fragments, which are then covalently linked to form a continuous strand.

This is due to the fact that DNA synthesis can only go in one direction: 5′ to 3′.

Okazaki Fragments Diagram

Okazaki Fragments, Okazaki Fragments Definition, Okazaki Fragments Mechanism, Okazaki Fragments Diagram,

Reiji Okazaki, Tsuneko Okazaki, and their colleagues first found Okazaki pieces in 1968 while researching bacteriophage DNA replication in E. coli.

It was named after its discoverers, Reiji Okazaki and his wife, Tsuneko Okazaki, who worked on bacteriophage DNA replication in E. coli in 1968.

Okazaki Fragments Citations


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