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Based on what we learned on condensation reactions, how many water molecules will be generated when single nucleotides are used to make this RNA: 5’-UUAACCGUCAG-3’

I had an online biology quiz with this question, and I thought it would be one molecule for each nucleotide, for 11 total. The answer I have been given is 10. I feel like I am missing something obvious.

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  • $\begingroup$ I just wanted to point out that the net generation of water is 0 since, for every condensation reaction of two nucleotides by RNA polymerase, there is a subsequent hydrolysis of pyrophosphate by pyrophosphatase. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Sep 16 '14 at 0:44
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It's one for every phosphodiester bond formed. 11 nucleotides, but only 10 bonds needed to join them into an oligonucleotide:

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11
N--N--N--N--N--N--N--N--N--N--N
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10
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