The dynamics of DNA replication

Alessandro Moura

Short Abstract
DNA replication is an essential process in biology and its timing must be robust so that cells can divide properly. Random uctuations in the formation of replication starting points, called origins, and the subsequent activation of proteins lead to variations in the replication time. We analyse these stochastic properties of the dynamics of DNA replication, using very simple models, and derive the positions of origins corresponding to the minimum replication time. We show that under some conditions the minimization of replication time leads to the grouping of origins, and we propose that the minimization of replication time has played an important role in evolution. Finally, we relate our theoretical findings to available experimental data in a number of species showing grouping of replication origins.