Lagging strand

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The lagging strand is the DNA strand replicated in the 3' to 5' direction during DNA replication from a template strand. It is synthesized in fragments[1].

Due to the functional restriction of the DNA polymerase not being able to synthesize the chain in 3’ to 5’ direction, on the lagging strand, the synthesis of the chain is discontinuous in the 5’ to 3’ direction. The discontinuous replication results in several short segments which are called Okazaki fragments[2].

The lagging strand causes the formation of the "trombone model" as the lagging strand is looped during replication.


  1. Shier D, 2008. Hole's Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology, 10th edition. McGraw-Hill.
  2. Cassimris L, Vishwanath R L, Plopper G (2011) Lewin’s Cells, Second edition, Sudbury Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers
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