The main difference between DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) is that deoxyribonucleic acid is the storage device that carries all the information about life, whereas ribonucleic acid is the reader that decodes this information.
DNA vs. RNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid and Ribonucleic acid are the most important molecules in cell biology. They are responsible for the storage, transfer, and reading of genetic information that is essential for life. Deoxyribonucleic acid is also known as DNA, whereas ribonucleic acid is known as RNA. DNA stores and transfer all the information related to life, whereas RNA decodes this information to perform different duties. DNA has a double standard helix-like structure, whereas RNA has a simple standard structure. Deoxyribonucleic acid is made up of deoxyribose sugar while Ribonucleic acid is made up of ribose sugar. DNA is found in the nucleus, plastids, and mitochondria of the cell; on the other hand, RNA is found in the nucleus, cytoplasm, and ribosomes.
What is Deoxyribonucleic Acid?
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that is a long biological molecule and also known as DNA. It is made up of smaller repeating units known as nucleotides. Each nucleotide is made up of a phosphate group, a deoxyribose sugar, and a nitrogenous base. There are four types of nitrogenous bases, i.e., adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine, and each nucleotide contains any one of them. A large number of nucleotides combine to make two long strand-like structure. Nitrogenous bases of the opposite strand nucleotides form hydrogen bonds between them such that adenine binds with thymine (A-T) and cytosine with guanine (C-G). This bonding causes the two strands of DNA to twist and wind around each other to form a famous double helix-like supercoil structure. DNA is found in the nucleus, plastids, and mitochondria of the cell. Small segments of long DNA strand form genes that carry all the information about the nature of an organism’s biology.
What is Ribonucleic Acid?
Ribonucleic acid is also a nucleic acid but much smaller as compared to DNA and also known as RNA. It is also made up of smaller repeating units known as nucleotides. Each nucleotide is made up of a ribose sugar, phosphate group, and a nitrogenous base. There are four types of nitrogenous bases in RNA, i.e., adenine, Uracil, cytosine, and guanine, and each nucleotide contain any one of them. A large number of nucleotides combine to make a single-stranded structure in which adenine binds with uracil (A-U) and cytosine with guanine (C-G) to form a coiled structure. It is found in nucleus, cytoplasm, and ribosomes.
- Messenger RNA (mRNA): It copies genetic code through DNA through a process called transcription to form required protein through ribosomes.
- Transfer RNA (tRNA): It is responsible for bringing amino acids for the formation of required protein. This process of protein production is known as translation.
- Ribosomal RNA (rRNA): It is the type of RNA that is present on ribosomes and help in protein production.
- A nucleic acid that works as genetic material and carries all the information about the cell is known as deoxyribonucleic acid whereas the nucleic acid that decodes the information stored on deoxyribonucleic acid to perform different works of the cell is known as ribonucleic acid.
- Deoxyribonucleic acid is also known as DNA; on the other hand; ribonucleic acid is also known as RNA.
- DNA is found in the nucleus, plastids and mitochondria of the cell conversely RNA is found in nucleus, cytoplasm, and ribosomes.
- DNA is a very long polymer, whereas RNA molecules vary in length, but they are always much shorter than long DNA polymers.
- DNA has a double standard helical-like structure that has two nucleotide strands with a phosphate group, a five-carbon sugar, and four nitrogenous bases. On the flip side, RNA has a single-stranded structure that is made up of a phosphate group, a five-carbon sugar, and four nitrogenous bases.
- DNA is made up of deoxyribose sugar, whereas RNA is made up of ribose sugar.
- Nitrogenous bases in DNA are adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine while nitrogenous bases in RNA are adenine, Uracil, cytosine, and guanine.
- In DNA, Adenine binds with thymine (A-T) and cytosine with guanine (C-G), but in RNA, Adenine binds with Uracil (A-U) and cytosine with guanine (C-G).
- Deoxyribose sugar in DNA less reactivity because of C-H bonds conversely ribose sugar in RNA shows more reactivity because of C-OH (hydroxyl) bonds.
- DNA is stable in alkaline conditions because of its less reactivity and smaller grooves that make it harder to attack by enzymes. On the other hand, RNA is not stable in alkaline conditions due to its more reactivity and larger grooves that make it easier to attack by enzymes.
- DNA is a self-replicating unit while RNA is synthesized from DNA.
- The helix geometry of DNA is B-Form, whereas the helix geometry of RNA is of A-Form.
- DNA can easily be damaged by exposure to ultra-violet rays, whereas RNA is more resistant against Ultra-violet rays.
- DNA is the most important part of the cell and carries all the information required for the proper functioning of the cell and also transfer information from generation to generation. On the flip side, RNA translate information encoded on the DNA to form the required protein from the ribosomes.
Above discussion summarizes that both deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are nucleic acids. DNA is a long polymer double-stranded helical-like structure that is made up of deoxyribose sugar-containing nucleotides and carries all the information to control cell. RNA is a small molecule as compared to DNA and has a single-stranded structure made up of ribose-containing nucleotides and decodes the information present on DNA.