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What are the differences between transcription and replication?

Posted October 14, 2020


Transcription and replication are basic genetic processes that are integral to cell growth and division. Both processes involve the creation of a new molecule of nucleic acids - either DNA or RNA. However, they are both distinctly different from each other.

Basis for comparison Transcription Replication
Definition Involves synthesis of RNA using DNA as a template Involves making new copies of DNA
Significance Is necessary for regulating gene expression Is necessary for regulating growth and division of cells
Transfer of Genetic Material Transfer of genetic material takes place from DNA to RNA Transfer of genetic material takes place from DNA to DNA
Occurrence phase and motive Occurs in the G1 and G2 phases of cell cycle in preparation for protein translation Occurs in the S phase of cell cycle in preparation for cell division
Site of occurrence Occurs along a single DNA strand Occurs along both DNA strands
Initiation requirement Does not require any primer for initiation Requires RNA primer to initiate replication
Enzymes Enzymes required – RNA Polymerase and Transcriptase DNA Helicase, DNA Polymerase
Copying of template Only selected individual genes are copied or transcribed Whole genome is copied in its entirety
Products created Produces single-stranded mRNA, tRNA, rRNA and non-coding RNA Produces two double-stranded daughter DNA
Migration and degradation of products created Greater part of the product passes from nucleus into the cytoplasm – products are degraded after their function is complete Products remain within nucleus and are not degraded
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