10 Noteworthy Differences Between DNA And RNA in 2021 See Update

Filed in Education by on May 23, 2021

Difference Between DNA And RNA: DNA, RNA alongside with proteins are the three major components that play an vital role for every living organism. They are like the biological blueprint that a living organism must follow to exist and remain functional.

10 Noteworthy Differences Between DNA And RNA

The main difference between DNA and RNA 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.


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 structures.

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.


The ribonucleic acid ( RNA) molecule is a single chain which plays a vital role in encoding, decoding , regulation and expression of genes. S to DNA, is composed of the same nucleotides , but these are found in shorter chains .

The RNA is a molecule of single – stranded . Each nucleotide is composed of sugar ribose with carbons numbered 1 through 5. The carbon atoms are composed of four bases different : Adenine ( A), guanine (G ), cytosine ( C) and uracil (U ).

The RNA backbone is composed of ribose sugar bound with a phosphate group and bases . The bases are always formed as follows: GC and AU; although they can be found in any order . Unlike DNA, the RNA is outside the nucleus of the cells and is not protected inside.


There are several types of RNA: transfer RNA (tRNA), messenger RNA (mRNA ), ribosomal RNA (rRNA ). All of these performs different functions in the body . The RNA polymerase is responsible for decoding the genetic data of l DNA  that the mRNA used then to direct how proteins act in the body .

The tRNA is responsible for the delivery of amino acids to the ribosomes, where the rRNA binds the amino acids to create specific proteins . Therefore, the proteins are composed of a combination of different amino acids.

10 Notable Distinctions Between DNA and RNA

1. DNA is found in the nucleus, plastids and mitochondria of the cell conversely RNA is found in nucleus, cytoplasm, and ribosomes.

2. Generally, DNA is a very long polymer, whereas RNA molecules vary in length, but they are always much shorter than long DNA polymers.

3. DNA is made up of deoxyribose sugar, whereas RNA is made up of ribose sugar.

4. Deoxyribonucleic acid is a double-stranded molecule, while RNA is a single-stranded molecule.

5. Nitrogenous bases in DNA are adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine while nitrogenous bases in RNA are adenine, Uracil, cytosine, and guanine.

6. DNA is a self-replicating unit while RNA is synthesized from DNA.

7. The helix geometry of DNA is B-Form, whereas the helix geometry of RNA is of A-Form.

8. 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).

9. 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.

10. Deoxyribonucleic acid 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.

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CSN Team.

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