The Difference Between DNA and RNA

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) 

Ever wondered how you have similar features as your parents. This is because your DNA is 50% similar to that of your mother and 50% similar to that of your father. The gene or DNA is the carrier of genetic material in almost all the organisms found on the Earth. It is made up of deoxyribose sugar and phosphate bases. The general structure of DNA is helical and it is almost always double-stranded.

Ribonucleic acid (RNA)

Body of most organisms requires protein in different forms to function. The protein synthesis is carried out by the process of translation where RNA plays the key role from transferring the amino acids to acting as a messenger for carrying codes from DNA. The ribosome where the translation process occurs is also composed of RNA. It is mostly single-stranded. It is also made up of ribose sugar and phosphate bases. 


The basic differences between DNA and RNA is in their roles, structure and phosphate bases. The detailed difference is listed as below:

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid.RNA stands for ribonucleic acid.
Double-stranded, helix structure. Single-stranded, sometimes double-stranded in viruses.
It has deoxyribose sugarIt has ribose sugar.
It is longer than RNA.It is shorter than DNA.
It is usually found in the nucleus or mitochondria.It is found in the nucleus or cytoplasm.
The bases found in DNA are Adenosine “A,” Guanine “G,” Cytosine “C,” and Thymine “T.”The bases found in RNA are Adenosine “A,” Uracil “U,” Cytosine “C,” and Guanine “G.”
It Carries genetic material.It is involved in protein synthesis.
The bases A pair with T, and C pair with G.The bases A pair with U, and C pair with G.


Lehninger, A., Nelson, D., Cox, M., & Osgood, M. (2005). Lehninger principles of biochemistry (4th ed., pp. 28-31). W.H. Freeman.

Asma Shrestha

Hello, I am Ashma Shrestha. I am currently pursing my Master's Degree in Microbiology. Passionate about writing and blogging. Key interest in virology and molecular biology

2 thoughts on “The Difference Between DNA and RNA

  1. Pingback: Mitochondria, Structure, Functions, and Location – Microbe Online
  2. Pingback: Mitochondria, Structure, Functions, and Location – Microbe Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts