DNA = deoxyribonucleic acid, double helix structure, determines inherited characteristics, contains vast amounts of information (genetic code).
Individual nucleotides of DNA = three basic components:
- a sugar called deoxyribose (pentose sugar)
- a phosphate group
- a nitrogenous base belonging to one of two different groups
- These are: single-ring bases (cytosine and thymine)
- and double ring bases (adenine and guanine)
- Groups combine as a result of a condensation reaction to produce a mononucleotide.
Combined again for dinucleotides and polynucleotides.
NB: Don't get confused between DNA and proteins - DNA = sequence of bases (polynucleotide), proteins = sequence of amino acids (polypeptide).
DNA = made up of two strands of polynucleotides, each extremely long.
- Two strands joined together by hydrogen bonds between complementary bases.