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Which property of DNA double helix led Watson and Crick to hypothesise semi-conservative mode of DNA replication? Explain.

Question:

Which property of DNA double helix led Watson and Crick to hypothesise semi-conservative mode of DNA replication? Explain.

Solution:

Watson and Crick observed that the two strands of DNA are anti-parallel and complementary to each other with respect to their base sequences. This type of arrangement in DNA molecule led to the hypothesis that DNA replication is semi-conservative. It means that the double stranded DNA molecule separates and then, each of the separated strand acts as a template for the synthesis of a new complementary strand. As a result, each DNA molecule would have one parental strand and a newly synthesized daughter strand.

Since only one parental strand is conserved in each daughter molecule, it is known as semi-conservative mode of replication.

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