Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, Daniele L. Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Daniel Rouan, Tilman Spohn, Stéphane Tirard, Michel Viso

Replication (Genetics)

  • Enrique VigueraEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44185-5_1366



Replication is the process by which a nucleic acid molecule is duplicated. DNA replication is required before cell division, ensuring that each daughter cell contains a copy of the  genome. In eukaryotes, chromosomal replication occurs in the cell nucleus, during the S phase of the cell cycle. DNA replication proceeds in a semiconservative manner in which each of the parental strands of the DNA double helix acts as a template for the nascent strand. A DNA polymerase enzyme catalyzes the formation of a phosphodiester bond between a free 3′-hydroxyl radical of a  primer DNA chain and an incoming deoxyribonucleotide, so that replication proceeds in the 5–3′ direction. RNA replication occurs during the infective cycle of viruses with RNA genome (with some exceptions including retroviruses which retro-transcribe their genomic RNA into DNA).


DNA replication in vivo requires three steps: (1) initiation of the polymerization of a DNA...


Cell cycle DNA polymerase Fidelity Nucleotides RNA polymerase Template 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Guzman E, Viguera E (2012) Analysis of chromosomal replication progression by gel electrophoresis. In: Gel electrophoresis – advanced techniques. Sameh Magdeldin. InTechGoogle Scholar
  2. Hübscher U, Maga G, Spadari S (2002) Eukaryotic DNA polymerases. Annu Rev Biochem 71:133–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kornberg A, Baker T (2002) DNA replication. W. H Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Langston LD, Indiani C, O’Donnell M (2009) Whither the replisome: emerging perspectives on the dynamic nature of the DNA replication machinery. Cell Cycle 8:2686–2691CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lia G, Michel B, Allemand JF (2012) Polymerase exchande during Okazaki fragment synthesis observed in living cells. Science 335:328–331CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. McCulloch SD, Kunkel TA (2008) The fidelity of DNA synthesis by eukaryotic replicative and translesion synthesis polymerases. Cell Res 18:148–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Pavlov AR, Pavlova NV, Kozyavkin SA, Slesarev AI (2004) Recent developments in the optimization of thermostable DNA polymerases for efficient applications. Trends Biotechnol 22:253–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Salas M, Blanco L, Lázaro JM, de Vega M (2008) The bacteriophage phi29 DNA polymerase. IUBMB Life 60:82–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Sclafani RA, Holzen TM (2007) Cell cycle regulation of DNA replication. Annu Rev Genet 41:237–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Viguera E, Canceill D, Ehrlich SD (2001) Replication slippage involves DNA polymerase pausing and dissociation. EMBO J 15:2587–2595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Waters LS, Minesinger BK, Wiltrout ME, D’Souza S, Woodruff RV, Walker GC (2009) Eukaryotic translesion polymerases and their roles and regulation in DNA damage tolerance. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 73:134–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Genetics Department, Sciences FacultyUniversity of MalagaMalagaSpain