Differences between DNA and RNA

Prokaryotes and eukaryotes differ in their genetic composition. Majority of the eukaryotes contains a well- defined nucleus, with the majority of them having DNA as their genetic material. Eukaryotes are usually multicellular  whereas the prokaryotes are the primitive organisms with RNA being their primary genetic material. The following table briefly narrate the principal differences between the DNA and RNA.




DNA is made up of a sugar  2-Deoxyribose.

RNA has Ribose sugar.

DNA is made up of a double-helical strand possessing a long chain of nucleotides.

RNA is made up of a single-strand helix with shorter chains of nucleotides.

The bases of DNA are adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine.

The bases of  RNA are adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil.

DNA has the ability to undergo  self-replication

RNA is produced with the help of DNA.

DNA has base Pairing formula AT (adenine-thymine) and GC (guanine-cytosine).

Base Pairing in an RNA is  AU (adenine-uracil) as well as GC (guanine-cytosine).

In the case of DNA, Purine and Pyrimidine bases are equal in number.   

Purine and Pyrimidine bases are not  equal in RNA

DNA is located in the nucleus and mitochondria of a cell.

Depending on the type of RNA, it is found in the cell’s nucleus and cytoplasm.

The principal function of the DNA is the inheritance of traits, cell division , cell cycle and  helping  the growth and development of cells

RNA transfers the genetic code from the nucleus to the ribosomes to make proteins. However, bacteria and virus rely on RNA for their genetic inheritance. 



Important questions

  1. Write any 5 differences between DNA and RNA

  2. Protein synthesis is assisted by RNA, is it true

  3. Prokaryotypes contain which genetic material?






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