The duplication of the mammalian genome is an organized event, but there is limited information about the precision of the duplication program at specific genetic loci. We developed an approach that allows DNA replication events to be visualized in individual DNA molecules. Studying the latent replication of Epstein-Barr virus episomes, we show that different initiation sites are used to commence DNA replication from a specific portion of the viral genome (zone), whereas termination does not seem to be genomically defined. We conclude that initiation zones and pausing sites are major organizers of the duplication program, but initiation, fork progression, and termination of replication canvary in each molecule.
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