AAT Bioquest

Why is DNA replication so much faster in prokaryotes than eukaryotes?

Posted May 17, 2022


There are a number of reasons why DNA replication is so much faster in prokaryotes than eukaryotes. The main reason why DNA replication is faster in prokaryotes than eukaryotes is because the DNA in prokaryotes is very simple. Prokaryotic DNA does not have histones and is not very densely packed. On the other hand, the DNA in eukaryotes is very densely packed and wrapped around histone proteins, which slows down the DNA replication. Another reason is because prokaryotic DNA is circular and has one point of origin as compared to eukaryotic linear DNA, which has multiple points of origin. The third reason is that mutations are not such a big deal in prokaryotes, so no time is spent on proofreading. In eukaryotes, proofreading is critical and takes up more time. 

Additional resources

Compartmentalization of prokaryotic DNA replication

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