DNA versus RNA comparison chart
Stands For DeoxyriboNucleicAcid. RiboNucleicAcid.
Definition A nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all modern living organisms. DNA's genes are expressed, or manifested, through the proteins that its nucleotides produce with the help of RNA. The information found in DNA determines which traits are to be created, activated, or deactivated, while the various forms of RNA do the work.
Function The blueprint of biological guidelines that a living organism must follow to exist and remain functional. Medium of long-term, stable storage and transmission of genetic information. Helps carry out DNA's blueprint guidelines. Transfers genetic code needed for the creation of proteins from the nucleus to the ribosome.
Structure Double-stranded. It has two nucleotide strands which consist of its phosphate group, five-carbon sugar (the stable 2-deoxyribose), and four nitrogen-containing nucleobases: adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine. Single-stranded. Like DNA, RNA is composed of its phosphate group, five-carbon sugar (the less stable ribose), and four nitrogen-containing nucleobases: adenine, uracil (not thymine), guanine, and cytosine.
Base Pairing Adenine links to thymine (A-T) and cytosine links to guanine (C-G). Adenine links to uracil (A-U) and cytosine links to guanine (C-G).
Location DNA is found in the nucleus of a cell and in mitochondria. Depending on the type of RNA, this molecule is found in a cell's nucleus, its cytoplasm, and its ribosome.
Stability Deoxyribose sugar in DNA is less reactive because of C-H bonds. Stable in alkaline conditions. DNA has smaller grooves, which makes it harder for enzymes to "attack." Ribose sugar is more reactive because of C-OH (hydroxyl) bonds. Not stable in alkaline conditions. RNA has larger grooves, which makes it easier to be "attacked" by enzymes.
Propagation DNA is self-replicating. RNA is synthesized from DNA when needed.
Unique Features The helix geometry of DNA is of B-Form. DNA is protected in the nucleus, as it is tightly packed. DNA can be damaged by exposure to ultra-violet rays. The helix geometry of RNA is of A-Form. RNA strands are continually made, broken down and reused. RNA is more resistant to damage by Ultra-violet rays.