DNA Structure and Sequencing

Section Summary

The currently accepted model of the double-helix structure of DNA was proposed by Watson and Crick. Some of the salient features are that the two strands that make up the double helix are complementary and anti-parallel in nature. Deoxyribose sugars and phosphates form the backbone of the structure, and the nitrogenous bases are stacked inside. The diameter of the double helix, 2 nm, is uniform throughout. A purine always pairs with a pyrimidine; A pairs with T, and G pairs with C. One turn of the helix has ten base pairs. During cell division, each daughter cell receives a copy of the DNA by a process known as DNA replication. Prokaryotes are much simpler than eukaryotes in many of their features. Most prokaryotes contain a single, circular chromosome. In general, eukaryotic chromosomes contain a linear DNA molecule packaged into nucleosomes, and have two distinct regions that can be distinguished by staining, reflecting different states of packaging and compaction.

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