DNA polymerase only work in the 3' to 5' direction so on one of the DNA strands this is easy as it opens up in that direction. But on the other strand (the lagging strand) the enzyme must work in the opposite direction, meaning it can only build discontinuous fragments as the double helix unwinds.
Why is DNA replication semi-conservative?
Since the new DNA strand (the resulting double helix of the replication) is composed of both an old strand and a new strand in the double helix that causes DNA replication to be semi-conservative.
DNA helicase is the enzyme that breaks the hydrogen bonds holding the two DNA strands together during DNA replication. DNA polymerase is the enzyme that builds a new DNA strand during DNA replication. DNA ligase is the enzyme that can attach together (ligates) strands of DNA with double strand breaks. Primase is an enzyme that builds a short RNA primer on the lagging strand during DNA replication.
What are the functions for the enzymes that are involved in DNA replication? DNA helicase, DNA polymerase, DNA ligase, and primase.
The leading strand is replicated continuously in the 3' to 5' direction. The other strand is the lagging strand, and it is replicated discontinuously in short sections. These sections are called Okazaki fragments, and they are short lengths of DNA
What are Leading and Lagging Strands?
What are Okazaki Fragments?
Okazaki fragments are short, newly synthesized DNA fragments that are formed on the lagging strand during DNA replication. They are complementary to the lagging strand, together forming short double-stranded DNA sections