Biology as Poetry: Genetics

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Template Strand

That half of a double helix that is read by polymerase enzymes during transcription or DNA replication.

The template strand is recognized by DNA polymerase, RNA polymerase, primase, reverse transcriptase, etc. The daughter strand produced by these enzymes is the complement of the template strand.

Note that the enzyme telomerase possesses an internal-to-the-enzyme template strand.

With semiconservative DNA replication both strands of the double helix serve as template strands, but each templates the production of a different daughter strand.

With transcription, typically only one strand serves as the template strand, the exception being overlapping genes. For any given transcription event, however, certainly only one strand serves as the template strand.

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