DNA Replication Fork
DNA Replication Fork Animation
During DNA replication inside a cell, each of the two old DNA strands serves as a template for the formation of an entire new strand. Because each of the to daughters of a dividing cell inherits a new DNA double helix containing one old and one new strand, the DNA double helix is said to be replicated “semiconservetively” by DNA polymerase.
Analyses carried out in the early 1960s on whole replicating chromosomes revealed a localized region of replication that moves progressively along the parental DNA double helix. Because of its Y shaped structure, this reactive region is called a replication fork. At a replication fork, the DNA both new daughter strand is synthesized by a multienzyme complex that contains the DNA polymerase.