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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. A structure that in some direct physical process can cause the patterning of a second structure, usually complementary to it in some sense.

2. (Science: molecular biology) Almost exclusively used to refer to a nucleotide sequence that directs the synthesis of a sequence complementary to it by the rules of Watson crick base pairing. A molecule that provides the structural mould to create similar molecules.