The key difference between deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid is that the monomer of deoxyribonucleic acid is deoxyribonucleotide while monomer of ribonucleic acid is ribonucleotide. Another important difference between deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid is that the deoxyribonucleic acid is double-stranded while ribonucleic acid is single-stranded.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are two types of nucleic acids. DNA stores genetic information of most living organisms. However, some organisms have RNA genomes. They are polymers composed of nucleotide monomers.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Deoxyribonucleic Acid
3. What is Ribonucleic Acid
4. Similarities Between Deoxyribonucleic Acid and Ribonucleic Acid
5. Side by Side Comparison – Deoxyribonucleic Acid vs Ribonucleic Acid in Tabular Form
What is Deoxyribonucleic Acid?
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is an important nucleic acid in living organisms. It stores genetic information. Deoxyribonucleotides are the basic units of DNA. There are three components in a deoxyribonucleotide namely, deoxyribose sugar, phosphate group and nitrogenous base. Nitrogenous bases form hydrogen bonds and stabilize the double-stranded DNA. Hence, DNA is a stable polymer with a long life.
However, DNA is more susceptible to UV damage. This nucleic acid resides inside the nucleus and cannot leave the nucleus, unlike RNA. Some DNA are present in mitochondria as well.
What is Ribonucleic Acid?
Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is the second type of nucleic acid present in living organisms. There are three types of RNA: mRNA, tRNA, and rRNA. RNA forms inside the nucleus. However, they leave the nucleus and later move into the cytoplasm. Some connect with ribosomes and help in protein synthesis.
RNA comprises ribonucleotides. Ribonucleotide has a ribose sugar, nitrogenous base, and a phosphate group. RNA does not have thymine base. It has uracil and other three bases: adenine, guanine, and cytosine. RNA is mostly single-stranded and it is less susceptible to UV damage, unlike DNA. Furthermore, it has a short life and is a much shorter polymer.
What are the Similarities Between Deoxyribonucleic Acid and Ribonucleic Acid?
- Deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid are nucleic acids.
- Both have phosphate groups and pentose sugars.
- They have nitrogenous bases.
- Both are very important molecules in living organisms.
- Both molecules are important for storing and reading of genetic information of organisms.
- They are polymers.
What is the Difference Between Deoxyribonucleic Acid and Ribonucleic Acid?
Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is a nucleic acid that stores the genetic information of living organisms. Ribonucleic acid or RNA is another nucleic acid which is converted into the amino acid sequence during the protein synthesis. Furthermore, DNA is double stranded while RNA is single stranded. DNA has a long life and is more stable than RNA. DNA has four nitrogenous bases: adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine. But RNA does not have a thymine base. It has a uracil base instead.
Moreover, DNA is present in the nucleus and mitochondria while RNA is present in the cytoplasm. DNA content in a cell is fixed. But RNA content has a tendency to vary. RNA is also more resistant to UV compared to DNA.
Summary – Deoxyribonucleic Acid vs Ribonucleic Acid
DNA and RNA are two nucleic acid polymers. Storing genetic information is the prime function of DNA while converting into amino acid sequence is the prime function of RNA. Furthermore, DNA is double stranded while RNA is single stranded. This is the difference between DNA and RNA.
1.“Nucleic Acid.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 12 May 2018, Available here.