Difference Between DNA and Genetics


Main Difference

The main difference between DNA and Genetics is that DNA is a genetic makeup of heredity and genetics is a branch of science in which we deal with the study of inheritance or heredity.

DNA vs. Genetics

DNA is just a part of a chromosome. Genetics is the main branch of biology. In a study of DNA composition pentose sugar, phosphorus group, and for types of bases are involved. In the study of genetics, chromosomes and genes are involved. DNA is a basic unit of inheritance. Genetics is a whole inheritance. The abbreviation of DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid. Genetics is not an abbreviation; it’s a complete subject. DNA includes nucleotides attached forms two strands that are spiral to make a double helix structure, which is also known as a ladder. Genetics include a combination of an organism’s environment and experiences to influence development and behavior. A German biochemist Frederich Miescher first discovered DNA in 1869. The researchers did not realize the importance of this molecule at that time. Genetics was first studied by Gregor Johann Mendle and the Augustinian friar in the 19th century. James Watson and Francis Crick comprehended the structure of DNA in 1953. They were awarded the noble prize in medicine in 1962. In the 21st-century trait inheritance and molecular inheritance of genes are principles of genetics, but modern genetics is beyond inheritance to function and behavior of genes. DNA has instructions to develop, live, and reproduce the organism; this information is found in every cell and passed from parents to offspring. Genetics has been rise number of subfields, e.g., epigenetics and population genetics. Human DNA has about 3million bases that are 99% same in all people according to the US National Library of Medicine. DNA showed that how inheritance works. Genetics influences the behavior of cells.


Comparison Chart

A basic unit of inheritanceA branch in which we deal with inheritance/heredity
Subdivided into
Bases, a pentose sugar, phosphorus group, etcCytogenetics, molecular genetics, etc
Genetic informationInheritance, heredity information
Deals with
Genetic makeupHeredity and variation of organisms
Deoxyribonucleic acidInherited traits

What is DNA?

It is known as Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). It carries hereditary information of an organism. Its main function is to store information and transmit this information to the new offsprings. DNA is a stable double helix compound structure, but its structure can vary from time to time, for example, at the time of replication, DNA double helix become unwinds. DNA structure stability and variability changed according to its complex biological functions. DNA segments carrying genetic information known as genes. DNA is double helix in structure two chains interconnect with ester bonds. These chains are 5’-3’ and 3’-5’. These chains are made up of simple subunits- monomers that are known as nucleotides. These nucleotides consist of Phosphate group, a nitrogenous base, and pentose sugar. There are four types of bases present in DNA molecule, i.e., Adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thiamine (T). According to the rule of complementarity of the base, adenine is always attached with thiamine by forming a double hydrogen bond, and guanine forms the triple hydrogen bond which cytosine. Thus bases and phosphor group form the backbone of a DNA molecule. In eukaryotic organisms bulk of DNA is stored inside the nucleus, and smaller parts of DNA is also located in organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts. In prokaryotic organisms like archaea and bacteria store their DNA in the cytoplasm. Inside the cell, DNA is present in the form of long structures known as chromosomes. The chromosomes get doubled by the replication process before the cell division. Inside the chromosomes, chromatin, proteins like histones are present to organize the long tread of DNA.


What is Genetics?

Genetics is the branch of biology which deals with the study of the important arrangement of heredity and variability in living organisms. Heredity protects the comparability and differences between living organisms and in the generations that are passed. Variability assures changes in some characteristics of the organism due to the change in genetic information or other environmental changes. Due to these two causes living organisms influenced by the adaptation to different environmental situations and improvement in the means of evolution. The word genetics derived from the Greek word “genera” means “origin.” The important topics in genetics are genotype, phenotype, and genes. In living organisms, genetic information is principally found in the chromosome as in the form of DNA sequence. However, human beings start to apply their knowledge about genetics in ancient history in the field of cultivation and plants and animal production. In today’s research, genetics presents major implements for studying genes, genetic analysis, genetic interaction, etc. The major goal of genetics is to study laws of heredity and variability thoroughly in organisms, causes of variations, carrier of heredity, etc. Genetics also subdivides into divisions including molecular genetics, oncogenetic, cytogenetics, mutational genetics, etc. Geneticsbasically deals with how traits or characteristics are received from previous generations. Traits are genetic information carried via DNA. However, the field of genetics is pioneered by Gregor Mendel (1822-1884). He provided the missing information about how evolution works in the past. Later on, Mendel’s experiment on peas gives information about the heredity in sexual reproduction. He notes that heredity is the mixing of different traits, not the blending of inherited characters.

Key Differences

  1. DNA transmits genetic information conversely genetics is the transmission of characters.
  2. DNA is a nucleic acid, whereas genetics is a subject related to genes and traits.
  3. DNA is used as a template or genetic code; on the other hand, genetics is used to influence genetic behavior.
  4. In DNA genes are arranged in a line along with base pairs on the flip side, genetics also studies about alleles.


It is concluded that DNA is a term related to genes, and genetics is a subject related to genes and trait.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White