Table Of Content

  • Meaning
  • Key points of distinction
  • Types and nature
  • Table of comparison        
  • Character and trait
  • Conclusion


DNA short for deoxyribose nucleic acid while RNA short for ribonucleic acid. DNA and RNA are the thread-like materialistic structure that consists of genetic information in all the living things generally which helps in directing various functions within the body cells.

              Both the genetic material is more of act as building blocks which together deals with inherit of information in the form of genes. Or these molecules fulfill their role almost in all kinds of cellular beings whether it is unicellular or multicellular. The set of these molecules is very essential for the continuity of life and the molecules too responsible for the reading and storage of information that is being passed on to the next generation.

                            As per evolution, we can’t be so sure among these two molecules as of which comes first and from which one the other evolved. But most of the theory and proof of scientist strongly claims that RNA evolved from DNA and possesses some of the traits which do share a common relationship with DNA.

                             So, in this article, we’ll be taking a quick look at nature, types, character, importance, and some key points of comparison and differences between DNA and RNA.

Major Differences between DNA and RNA


Various key point of differences between DNA and RNA are as following given below:

  • DNA and RNA possess certain functions in which DNA acts as a storage molecular material and transmits the information to further process. On the other hand, RNA synthesis encodes the information which is a transfer from the medium DNA and ribosomes in terms of proteins.

  • There are certain parts and nitrogenous bases that consist of both DNA and RNA. In DNA, bases are composed of adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine which is found or similar in RNA too except for only one i.e., thymine. In place of thymine, another base name uracil is being used by RNA.

  • Both DNA and RNA are made up of specific molecules in which DNA has double-stranded molecules. On the contrary to DNA, RNA has single-stranded molecules. 

  • Deoxyribose sugar contains long chains of nucleotides that are present in the backbone of DNA whereas ribose sugar consists of short-chain nucleotides that are being found in RNA.

DNA vs RNA – Table of comparison


NatureDNA stands for deoxyribose nucleic acid which is a set of nucleic acid molecules that stores the hereditary traits of the living organism.Whereas RNA short for ribose nucleic acid which does perform the various task as it acts as a messenger that encodes the info.
TypesDNA mainly are of two major types i.e., nuclear DNA and plasmid DNA which are also known as chromosomal and extrachromosomal DNAWhile in this case, the three types of RNA are M (messenger )-RNA, R(ribosomes)-RNA, T(transfer)-RNA
Nitrogenous basesVarious nitrogenous base in DNA includes adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine (which is the only molecule i.e., not common in RNA).RNA too contains certain bases in which few of them are similar to DNA includes adenine, guanine, and cytosine but not the one named uracil.
Sugar compositionDNA composed of Deoxyribose sugar which in terms to be found in the backbone of molecular DNA.On the other hand, RNA consists of some different sugars name ribose, not like deoxyribose in DNA.
Base pairsIn the base pairing of DNA, adenine (a) pairs with thymine (t) and guanine (g) pairs with cytosine (c).And if we talk about RNA then, similar to that in DNA guanine base (g) pairs with cytosine (c) and adenine base (a) pairs with uracil (u).
Structure of moleculesGenerally, the deoxyribose molecules in DNA are double-stranded and possess a long ladder-like structure, which seems a criss-cross pattern.On the contrary, the molecules of ribose is single stranded and even some strands of RNA are too smaller in length as well.
ReplicationDNA possesses the nature of self-replication as it replicates on its own without any prior support. On the other hand, RNA does not tend to replicate on its own and when required, rather RNA synthesis out of DNA.
 Stability /reactivityThe sugar name deoxyribose which contains in DNA is less reactive due to the C-H bond and i.e. why the stability seems in deoxyribose sugar.Whereas, RNA contains ribose sugar which is more reactive than that in DNA all due to activation of the C-OH bonds.
Length of polymerThe polymer length in DNA compare to RNA is much longer which exists in several centimeters generally.While the polymer of these (RNA) are much shorter in length than DNA.
Chain of nucleotidesDNA possesses a long chain of nucleotides composed of nitrogenous bases and deoxyribose sugars.On the other hand, RNA has a shorter chain of nucleotides.
RolesDNA transmits and stores the genetic information in terms of deoxyribose molecules and proteins which is useful in the making of cells and organisms. It too held responsible for the cellular and metabolic process which is being seen in the cellular body.RNA serves in encoding and decoding of the genetic information send via DNA which too necessary in the synthesis of a ribose proteins and molecules with the passage of the nucleus to ribosomes.
StabilityIn alkaline conditions, DNA is stable and it too hard for enzymes to attack due to the presence of tiny helical grooves.While RNA in the alkaline condition is unstable or due to the existence of comparatively larger grooves in RNA, it’s too easy for enzymes to track and then approach to attack.
ExistenceDNA is mainly located in the mitochondria and a small proportion is found in the nucleus of a cell.On the contrary, RNA too found in the nucleus or ribosomes and cytoplasm.
Molecular massThe molecular mass in DNA varied between 2-5 million.Whereas, RNA possesses molecular weight that could go from 25,000 to 2 million.
UV radiation effectDNA can be damaged due to the radiation produced by the ultraviolet rays.On the other hand, RNA is resistant to the radiation of the UV rays to some extent.
Following are the types of DNA and RNA in which we also depict the role of deoxyribose and ribose sugar within their nucleic acids:


Types of DNA

Following are the backbone of DNA that we found in its various types :

A-form DNA- This form of DNA has a double-helical structure which is generally made up of deoxyribose nucleic pairs and at the epicenter of the helix(criss-cross) the bases of the nitrogenous material lie. A-form is rarely present or seen in the environment as it depends upon numerous physiological and climatic conditions such as relative humidity which must be less than 75%.

B-form DNA- B form of DNA is one such form that is commonly found in the environment of normal condition. This form is discovered by a biologist named Watson and cricks that bring out this form by considering the diffracted pattern of x-rays. The molecular structure of this DNA form is asymmetric and the double strands move in the opposite direction.

C-form DNA- C form of DNA is seen and found at approximately 66% of relative humidity in the environment which is being occupied by the ions of lithium, magnesium and sugar molecules of deoxyribose which rests upon various physiological factors. This form of DNA is unstable and has many right-handed helix base structures which makes it uncommon too.

Z-form DNA- Z DNA possesses a double helix structure that is left-handed which makes it difficult up to some extent to observe it as it unstable too. It is generally found in the eukaryotic cellular body of an organism or viruses and bacteria. One thing that part away Z form from any other form is the appearance of its backbone which is zigzag in shape.

Types of RNA

Following are the important three types of RNA and besides these one more types of RNA to exist which is also mentioned below:

M-RNA This RNA acts as a messenger between DNA and ribosomes which is why it is named Messenger RNA. It carries the heredity code from the nucleus of DNA molecules and transfers the multiple copies of the same to ribosomes, a place where the protein of RNA i.e. ribose gets synthesis in the cytoplasm. This entire process is known as transcription.    

 T-RNA tRNA or transfer RNA transfer and carries amino acids to ribosomes for the synthesis of proteins that help in building the structural blocks of the molecule during the translation process. This link made by amino acids with ribosomes is only due to the coded instruction sent via M-RNA.

R-RNA Ribosomal RNA or rRNA is found in the cytoplasm of a cell. This RNA manufactures ribosomal proteins with the organelles of themselves. In other words, ribosomes are the crucial products of their factory which are essential in the production of proteins. It too responsible for the process in conveys information and instruction between M-RNA and T-RNA.

SN-RNA Small nuclear RNA has a complex molecular structure that manufactures ribose proteins and then synthesis the processes too in eukaryotic cellular beings. The average length of an SN-RNA molecule is up to 150 nucleotides. These are highly found in abundant quantity and play an active role in biogenesis and splicing in DNA.


We conclude from the article that this genetic thread-like structure of DNA and RNA plays an important role in our body as these carry genes to our next generation, which is responsible for the character or traits that we inherited from our parents. For more informative biology topics article please visit our home page.

For more such information or if you are interested in a similar type of content like renewable and nonrenewable resources, pls do take a visit to some of our work which we assure you must like.

Leave a Reply