Notable Differences Between DNA And RNA

Notable Differences Between DNA And RNA.

Notable Differences Between DNA And RNA: DNA, RNA with proteins are the three important components that play a vital role for every living organism. They are also like the biological blueprint that a living organism must follow to exist and remain functional. In this article, we will show you the notable differences between DNA and RNA.

The major difference between DNA and RNA is that deoxyribonucleic acid is the storage device that carries all the information about life, while ribonucleic acid is the reader that decodes this information.



DNA “Deoxyribonucleic acid” can be defined as a nucleic acid that is a long biological molecule and also known as DNA. It consists of smaller repeating units known as nucleotides which is made up of a phosphate group, a deoxyribose sugar and a nitrogenous base.

However, there are four types of nitrogenous bases, i.e., adenine, cytosine, thymine and guanine, and each nucleotide consists of any one of them. A large number of nucleotides is combined to make two long strand-like structures.

Nitrogenous bases of the opposite strand nucleotides form hydrogen bonds between them that the adenine binds with thymine (A-T) and cytosine with guanine (C-G). This bond causes the two strands of DNA to twist and wind around each other to form a famous double helix-like supercoil structure. 

Deoxyribonucleic acid is found in the nucleus, plastids, and mitochondria of the cell. Small parts of long DNA strands form genes that carry all the information about the nature of an organism’s biology.


RNA “Ribonucleic acid” molecule is a single chain which plays an important role in encoding, decoding, expression and regulation of genes. S to DNA consist of the same nucleotides, but these are found in shorter chains .

Ribonucleic acid is also a molecule of single stranded . Each nucleotide consists of sugar ribose with carbons numbered 1 through 5. The carbon atoms are composed of four different bases: Adenine ( A), cytosine ( C), guanine (G ) and uracil (U ).

The RNA backbone consists of ribose sugar bound with a phosphate group and bases . This base is always formed as follows: GC and AU; however, they can be found in any order . The RNA is outside the nucleus of the cells unlike DNA and is not protected inside.

There are different types of RNA: messenger RNA (mRNA ), transfer RNA (tRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA ). All of these perform various functions in the body. The RNA polymerase is also responsible for decoding the genetic data of l DNA  that the mRNA used then to direct how proteins act in the body .

However, the tRNA is responsible for the delivery of amino acids to the ribosomes, where the rRNA binds the amino acids to create certain proteins . So, the proteins consist of a combination of different amino acids.

Notable Differences Between DNA and RNA

1. DNA is found in the nucleus, plastids and mitochondria of the cell conversely while RNA is found in nucleus, cytoplasm, and ribosomes.

2. Generally, DNA is a very long polymer while RNA molecules are different in length, but they are always much shorter than long DNA polymers.

3. DNA consists of deoxyribose sugar while RNA is made up of ribose sugar.

4. Deoxyribonucleic acid is a double-stranded molecule, whereas ribonucleic acid is a single-stranded molecule.

5. Nitrogenous bases in deoxyribonucleic acid are adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine while nitrogenous bases in ribonucleic acid are adenine, Uracil, cytosine, and guanine.

6. DNA is a self-replicating unit whereas RNA is synthesized from DNA.

7. The helix geometry of deoxyribonucleic acid is B-Form, while the helix geometry of ribonucleic acid is of A-Form.

8. In DNA, cytosine binds with guanine (C-G) while Adenine with thymine (A-T), but in RNA, Adenine binds with Uracil (A-U) and cytosine with guanine (C-G).

9. Deoxyribose sugar in DNA less reactivity because of C-H bonds contrarily ribose sugar in RNA shows more reactivity because of C-OH (hydroxyl) bonds.

10. DNA is stable in alkaline conditions because of its less reactivity and smaller grooves that make it harder to attack by enzymes. Whereas, RNA is not stable in alkaline conditions due to its more reactivity and larger grooves that make it easier to get attacked by enzymes.


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