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

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Watson and Crick suggested that the two strands of double helix DNA molecule uncoil and separate and each of the two strands serves as a template for the synthesis of a new (complementary) strand alongside it. The template (i.e., parental strand) and its complement (i.e., the daughter strand) then fonn a new DNA double strand, identical to the original DNA molecule. The sequence of bases which should be present in the new strands can be easily predicted because these would be complementary to the bases present in the old strands. A will pair with T, T with A, C with G and G with C. Thus two daughter DNA molecules are formed from the parent DNA molecule and these are identical to the parent molecule. Since each daughter DNA molecule consists of one old (parental) strand and one new strand, this mode of replication is said to be semiconservative (i.e., the new DNA molecule has conserved half of the parent molecule).

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