Purpose

Bacteria multiply by a process called binary fission. In this process a "parent" bacteria divides into two identical "daughter" bacteria.

Most of bacterial genetic information is found on a single circular chromosome consisting of DNA and associated proteins. This genetic information must be distributed equally to each of the daughter bacteria to ensure genetic continuity. This is possible because DNA is a self- replicating molecule and is capable of making an exact copy of itself. Therefore, one copy can be alloted to each daughter bacteria.

Dr. Gen E. Tics, an crazy microbial geneticist who always presenting wild ideas, is studying bacterial replication. This time he has formulated two hypotheses concerning replication of the E. coli chromosome. To begin with, he hypothesized that the replication process starts at a single point on the circular chromosome called the origin and procedes in one direction around the chromosome until it meets the origin again. The doctor called this process Unidirectional Replication because replication procedes in one direction around the chromosome. He also hypothesized that replication of the chromosome must be fully completed before it can begin again. In this sense, when replication is done, the bacteria divides and a copy of the chromosome is given to each daughter. In each daughter, the replication process can begin again. The doctor called this process Single Fork Replication because one replication fork must finish before another one can begin.

You, a very curious microbiologist, have decided to test the two statements. After weeks of experiments and research, you compile all of your results. Your purpose is to analyze these results (click the results button found in the left margin) and determine if Dr. Gen E. Tics is right.