Difference Between in Biology

Difference Between DNA and RNA

At the molecular level, all life fundamentally comprises the same building blocks-DNA and RNA. Although DNA and RNA are made up of nucleotides there is some difference between DNA and RNA. Thus, the major difference between DNA and RNA is that DNA is double-stranded and RNA is single-stranded. DNA is responsible for genetic information transmission, whereas RNA transmits genetic codes that are necessary for protein creation.

What is DNA?

Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is a molecule made of two polynucleotide chains. These coils form a complex double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth, and reproduction of all living organisms. The two strands of double-stranded DNA store the same biological information which is replicated as and when the two strands separate.

What is RNA?

RNA full form Ribonucleic acid is a kind of polymeric molecule. It helps in various biological roles such as coding, decoding, regulation, and expression of genes. Messenger RNA (mRNA) in cellular organisms helps to convey genetic information that directs the synthesis of specific proteins.

Difference Between DNA and RNA

Difference Between DNA and RNA

                                                                                       Difference Between DNA and RNA

The important difference between DNA and RNA

Parameter DNA RNA
Structure DNA is a double-stranded molecule consisting of a long chain of nucleotides. B type of helix. It is a single-stranded helix consisting of a short chain of nucleotides. A type of helix.
Function Transmits genetic information to make other cells and new organisms. Long-term storage of genetic information


It transfers the genetic code from the nucleus to the ribosomes to make proteins.
Propagation DNA is self-replicating.


Synthesized from DNA.
Composition Deoxyribose sugar

phosphate backbone

adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine bases.

Ribose sugar

phosphate backbone

adenine, guanine, cytosine, uracil bases.

Location  Located in the nucleus of a cell and in the mitochondria. Located in the cytoplasm, nucleus, and in the ribosome.
Nitrogenous Bases and Pairing GC(Guanine pairs with Cytosine) A-T(Adenine pairs with Thymine). GC(Guanine pairs with Cytosine) A-U(Adenine pairs with Uracil)
Molecular Weight 2 to 6 million 25,000 to 2 million
Stability DNA is a more stable molecule than RNA. DNA is stable under alkaline conditions. Much more reactive than DNA and is not stable in alkaline conditions.
Ultraviolet (UV) Sensitivity DNA is vulnerable to damage by ultraviolet light. Much more resistant to damage from UV light than DNA.

We must learn in detail to find out more about DNA and RNA.


DNA was first founded by Friedrich Miescher in 1869. In February 1953, Watson and Crick completed their model, which is now accepted as the first correct model of the double-helix of DNA. DNA is a long polymer chain made from repeating units called nucleotides. Each of these nucleotides is symbolized by a single letter. It is a nucleic acid.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) contains the genetic instructions for the development and function of living things. DNA in the cell stores information for a long-term period. The information is held in the sequence of pieces of DNA called genes.

There are three different DNA types:

  1. A-DNA: It is a right-handed double helix similar to the B-DNA form.
  2. B-DNA: This is the most common DNA conformation and is a right-handed helix.
  3. Z-DNA is a left-handed DNA where the double helix winds to the left in a zig-zag pattern.


In 1868, Friedrich Miescher discovered Nucleic acids. He named the material ‘nuclein’ since it was found in the nucleus. Leslie Orgel is the father of the RNA. He was a chemist and established a world theory of the origin of life.

RNA is present in all biological cells. It is an important biological macromolecule principally involved in the synthesis of proteins, carrying the messenger instructions from DNA, which itself contains the genetic instructions required for the development and maintenance of life.

4 types of RNA encoded by its own type of gene are:

  1. Messenger RNA-mRNA: Encodes the amino acid sequence of a polypeptide.
  2. Transfer RNA-tRNA: Brings amino acids to ribosomes during translation.
  3. Ribosomal RNA-rRNA: With ribosomal proteins, makes up the ribosomes, the organelles that translate the mRNA.
  4. Small nuclear RNA-snRNA: It forms complexes with help of proteins that are used in RNA processing in eukaryotes. (Not found in prokaryotes.)

FAQs about DNA and RNA:

Q.1.How long can DNA survive on clothing?

Ans- One can recover DNA from clothes exposed to water for more than 1 week. In summer, the time period for erasing the bulk of DNA was 4 hours regarding epithelial samples and more than 1 day for blood samples in the pond and river environments.

Q.2. What is RNA therapy?

Ans- RNA therapy modifies or provides ribonucleic acid (RNA) to patients’ cells. Messenger RNA (mRNA) gets translated into protein by a biological cipher, which converts three nucleic acids to one amino acid.

Share with friends
Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?

Get ready for all-new Live Classes!
Now learn Live with India's best teachers. Join courses with the best schedule and enjoy fun and interactive classes.
Ashhar Firdausi
IIT Roorkee
Dr. Nazma Shaik
Gaurav Tiwari
Get Started
Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?

No thanks.