Lagging Strand

∞ generated and posted on 2016.10.05 ∞

During DNA replication, DNA template in combination with newly synthesized DNA constructed from Okazaki fragments.

The lagging strand is called the lagging strand because there is a substantial delay in the replication of that strand relative to the leading strand. That is, it literally "lags" behind the leading strand in the course of dsDNA replication.

This delay occurs because DNA polymerization on the lagging strand is forced to occur in the direction going away from the replication fork. The fork thus must open up one Okazaki fragment's length of DNA template before replication is initiation on that strand.

The lagging strand is subject to what is known as discontinuous synthesis, versus the continuous synthesis seen with the leading strand. The discontinuity is the lag is the fact that DNA must be synthesized in fragments, and this rather than continuously as well as in one big piece as occurs with the leading strand.