DNA Replication vs Transcription- Definition, 23 Differences

DNA replication and transcription are fundamental genetic processes that are essential for cell growth and division. 

Differences between DNA Replication and Transcription

Both DNA replication and transcription processes involve the generation of a new molecule of nucleic acids, either DNA or RNA; however, the function of each process is very different, with one involved in gene expression and the other involved in cell division.

Here are some differences:



DNA Replication


1.       Definition DNA replication is the process of making new copies of DNA. Transcription is the process by which DNA is copied (transcribed) to RNA.
2.       Significance DNA replication is important for properly regulating the growth and division of cells.  Transcription of DNA is the method for regulating gene expression. 
3.       Transfer of Genetic Information From DNA to DNA From DNA to RNA
4.       Occurs during  S phase of cell cycle. Occurs in the G1 and G2 phases of cell cycle.
5.       Motive Occurs in preparation for cell division. Occurs in preparation for protein translation.
6.       Involved in Cell division Gene expression
7.       Raw Materials dATP, dGTP, dTTP and dCTP serve as raw materials. ATP, UTP, GTP and CTP serve as raw materials.
8.       Template Both DNA strands Single DNA strand
9.       Primers Requires RNA primer to start replication. No primer is required for initiation.
10.    Enzymes Required DNA Helicase, DNA Polymerase Transcriptase (type of DNA Helicase), RNA polymerase
11.    Unwinding and Splitting It involves unwinding and splitting of the entire DNA molecule. It involves unwinding and splitting of only those genes which are to be transcribed.
12.    Base pairing Adenine pairs with thymine. Adenine pairs with uracil instead of thymine.
13.    Copying of Template The entire template strand is copied. Only the portion of the template DNA that codes for required genes is transcribed, or copied.
14.    Product Two daughter DNA mRNA, tRNA, rRNA and non-coding RNA( like microRNA)
15.    Strands in product Double stranded DNA Single stranded RNA
16.    Post-formation Joining of Okazaki fragments RNA editing
17.    Processing It produces normal DNA molecules that do not need any processing. It produces primary RNA transcript molecule which needs processing to acquire final form and size.
18.    Bond Replicated DNA strand remains hydrogen bonded to its template DNA strand. Transcribed RNA strand separates from its DNA template strand.
19.    Migration from the site of formation Products remain within nucleus. Greater part of the product passes from nucleus into the cytoplasm.
20.    Degradation of Product formed Products are not degraded. Products are degraded after their function is over.
21.    Rate of Production The rate of replication is typically 20 times faster than transcription and six or more replication forks may be present at the same time on the chromosome. Comparatively slower.
22.    Process followed by Transcription/ Next replication Translation. Although some RNA are the final product themselves.
23.    Significance Conserve the entire genome for next generation. Necessary for protein synthesis.


  1. https://microbiologyinfo.com/difference-replication-transcription/
  2. http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs/20630/InTechRelations_between_replication_and_transcription.pdf
  3. https://sciencing.com/difference-between-transcription-dna-replication-9038.html
  4. https://www.majordifferences.com/2013/10/difference-replication-vs-and.html
  5. https://www.atdbio.com/content/14/Transcription-Translation-and-Replication
  6. https://biodifferences.com/difference-between-replication-and-transcription.html

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