Some of the differences are:
||DNA is found in the nucleus, with a small amount of DNA also present in mitochondria.
||RNA forms in the nucleolus, and then moves to specialized regions of the cytoplasm depending on the type of RNA formed.
||Long, ladder-like macromolecule that twists to form a double helix.
||In contrast to the double helix structure of DNA, RNA is generally single stranded.
||The helix geometry of DNA is of β-form.
||The helix geometry of RNA is of α-form.
||Each DNA nucleotide contains one of four nitrogenous bases, abbreviated A (adenine), G (guanine), T (thymine), or C (cytosine).
||Contains the nitrogenous base uracil in place of thymine.
||Chain of Nucleotides
||Long chain of nucleotides
||Relatively short chains
||DNA contains deoxyribose sugar.
||Contains a different sugar (ribose rather than deoxyribose) in its nucleotides.
||Adenine and Thymine pair (A-T)
||Adenine and Uracil pair (A-U)
|Cytosine and Guanine pair (C-G)
||Cytosine and Guanine pair (C-G)
||Ratio of Bases
||In case of DNA:
||In case of RNA:
|• Adenine = Thymine
||• Adenine ≠ Thymine
|• Guanine = Cytosine
||• Guanine ≠ Cytosine
||2 to 6 million
||25,000 to 2 million
||For a particular species, the DNA number remains constant for every cell.
||The number of RNA may differ from cell to cell.
||DNA does not usually exist as a single molecule, but instead as a tightly-associated pair of molecules.
||RNA may exist as a single molecule.
||DNA is self-replicating.
||RNA is synthesized from DNA on an as-needed basis.
||Major enzyme involved in propagation
||Need of Primer
||Primer necessary to initiate replication.
||No primer is needed for RNA.
||Absent since RNA polymerase lacks the ability to detect errors of base pairing.
||DNA is a much longer polymer than RNA. A chromosome, for example, is a single, long DNA molecule, which would be several centimetres in length when unravelled.
||RNA molecules are variable in length, but much shorter than long DNA polymers. A large RNA molecule might only be a few thousand base pairs long.
||DNA can’t leave the nucleus.
||RNA leaves the nucleus (mRNA).
||Complementary forms are mostly between two DNA strands.
||RNA strand can form complementary structures with strands of either DNA or RNA.
||Destruction and re-use
||DNA is completely protected by the body i.e. the body destroys enzymes that cleave DNA.
|| RNA strands are continually made, broken down and reused.
||• Storing genetic information
||• Transferring genetic information from the DNA to proteins
|• Directs protein synthesis
||• Carrying it outside the nucleus
|• Determines genetic coding
||• Translating it to proteins
|• Directly responsible for metabolic activities, evolution, heredity, and differentiation.
||Role as Genetic Material
||In all organisms other than certain viruses
||Very rarely (in some viruses)
||Versatility and Usefulness
||More stable and holds more complex information for longer periods of time.
||RNA is more versatile than DNA, capable of performing numerous, diverse tasks in an organism.
||Due to its deoxyribose sugar, which contains one less oxygen-containing hydroxyl group, DNA is a more stable molecule than RNA. DNA is stable under alkaline conditions.
||RNA, containing a ribose sugar, is more reactive than DNA and is not stable in alkaline conditions. RNA’s larger helical grooves mean it is more easily subject to attack by enzymes.
||Ultraviolet (UV) Sensitivity
||DNA is vulnerable to damage by ultraviolet light.
||RNA is more resistant to damage from UV light than DNA.
||DNA’s mutation rate is relatively lower.
||RNA’s mutation rate is relatively higher.
||May be present rarely
||Rate of Renaturation After Melting
||Chromosomal DNA (nuclear DNA) and Extra-chromosomal (plasmid DNA, mt- DNA, chl- DNA etc.)
||Messenger RNA (mRNA) Transfer RNA (tRNA) Ribosomal RNA (rRNA)
|hnRNA • snRNA • snoRNA • miRNA • siRNA