Nucleic acids accounts for one of the four major biological macromolecules, which carry genetic blueprint of a cell and are essential for proper functioning of the cell. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and Ribonucleic acid (RNA) are two important nucleic acids which help in carrying genetic information and are made up of nucleotide monomers. Even though both DNA and RNA are made up of nucleotides but there exists some major differences. In this article we will look into some important differences between DNA and RNA.
|Feature / Comparison
|Nucleus and mitochondria / Chloroplasts
|Nucleus and Cytoplasm
|Structure – Sugar
|Structure – Nitrogenous bases
|Adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine
|Adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil
|Double stranded and Double helix
|Usually single stranded
|Long term storage and transfer of genetic information
|Helps in decoding genetic information present in DNA. In some viruses, RNA is double stranded and acts as hereditary or genetic molecule.
|The helix geometry of DNA is of β-form.
|The helix geometry of RNA is of α-form.
|More stable due to its deoxy ribose sugar, which contains one less oxygen-containing hydroxyl group
|Self replicating and enzyme used is DNA polymerase
|Needs DNA for replication and enzyme is RNA polymerase
|Transport from nucleus
|Always stays in nucleus
|After synthesis in nucleus, RNA is transported to cytoplasm
|Nuclear DNA and Extra-chromosomal (plasmid DNA, mitochondrial- DNA, chloroplast- DNA etc.)
|Messenger RNA (mRNA) Transfer RNA (tRNA) Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and non-coding RNAs
|3 types of DNA : A-form: Right-handed double helix, B-form : Most common form of DNA and Right-handed double helix , Z-form: left-handed DNA
|A-form helix. RNA usually is a linear single-strand helix, but circular single stranded RNAs are also found in plants and animals.
Image Credit for RNA and DNA structure : Wikipedia