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NCEA Level 3 Science (90729) 2010 — page 1 of 2

Assessment Schedule – 2010

Science: Describe genetic processes (90729)
Evidence Statement

Achievement Achievement
Q Evidence Achievement
with Merit with Excellence

ONE The DNA molecule unwinds and the DNA Detailed description An explanation of Full discussion of
polymerase binds to the parent strands. It begins of replication. Replication linked replication
moving along it in the 3' to 5' direction, using it as a to the accuracy of including the role
template for assembling the nucleotide. On the 5' to OR the process and of Polymerase
3' strand of DNA, the polymerase binds and Description of the including the role and ligase.
produces short sections of complementary DNA semiconservative of enzyme(s).
(called Okazaki fragments). These short sections nature of the AND
need to be joined together, so another enzyme, process leading to an explanation of
DNA ligase then stitches these together. accuracy. the effects on
synthesis of new
A method for the accuracy of replication is to carry
out a semiconservative replication. The DNA
complementary directionality.
molecule is split in half and complementary
base pairing leading
nucleotides match the parent strand, making the
to accuracy.
other half of the DNA molecule. This results in two
daughter strands of DNA, each with one new strand
and one strand from the original (parent) molecule.
Complementary base pairing ensures accuracy of
replication, because each of the bases can only
bond with one other specific base. C bonds with G
and T bonds with A.
These two methods mean that the new DNA
molecule is an accurate copy of the parent
molecule, and will therefore produce an exact copy
of the polypeptide chain.
DNA needs to be accurately replicated, as it codes
for all the polypeptides a cell needs to function. It
contains genes, which result in a sequence of amino
acids and therefore gives the polypeptides their
unique shape / function. The codes must stay the
same or the wrong polypeptide will be made.

TWO The DNA sequence is made up of sections called A description of An explanation of Full discussion of
genes. Each gene codes for a particular protein to EITHER EITHER the importance of
be produced. transcription OR transcription DNA sequence in
translation. (including the protein synthesis,
The first step is to transcribe the gene into the
role of RNA including the
mRNA inside the nucleus. The mRNA is made by
Polymerase in process of
complementary base pairing with the DNA. In the
synthesising transcription
mRNA, there is no T instead it is replaced by U.
mRNA) AND translation.
Once the mRNA is produced, it moves out of a OR translation.
nuclear pore to the cytoplasm, where it is picked up AND
by a ribosome. The ribosome then reads the mRNA AND The significance
in base triplets called codons. The codons code for The link between of errors in
a particular amino acid that is carried to the DNA sequence DNA/protein
ribosome by tRNA. The tRNA has an anticodon and protein. sequence.
that is complementary to the codon. If they match
then the amino acid is bonded to the previous
amino acids by way of a polypeptide bond. This
results in the protein.
NCEA Level 3 Science (90729) 2010 — page 2 of 2

THREE Copies of the gene are produced and a marker gene Description of Explanation of A full discussion
(eg antibiotic resistance) is added. The genes are EITHER EITHER of EITHER
then inserted into a plasmid or viral vector using insertion of gene insertion of gene insertion of gene
ligase to join the pieces. These insert the genes into OR OR OR
the cells, which are then cultured on a plate of agar implication of implication of implication of
with antibiotics present. The colonies that grow insertion. insertion. insertion..
show that the genes have been inserted into the
cells. with some
discussion of the
The implications of where the gene is inserted are
other process
that it may insert into the middle of another gene
with reference to
and therefore make it useless, which may affect the
the example in the
plant in a negative way. Also the insertion site is
important as it needs to be expressed in the part of
the carrot that we eat. If it was expressed in the
leaves of the carrot we would get no benefit, but it
could affect animals and insects that browse on the

Judgement Statement

Achievement Achievement with Merit Achievement with Excellence

2A 2M 2E
1E+1A 1E+2M