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Difference Between Deoxyribonucleotide and Ribonucleotide

Deoxyribonucleotide vs Ribonucleotide

What makes us different from the individual beside us? What makes us unique from other persons? What makes us who we are? The answer to these questions would be basically our DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), the blueprints or genetic codes that store our genes and give us our own identities. These microscopic molecules hold our very own uniqueness as individuals, and give us a sense of being. They also give us a familial feeling that we only share our genetic codes with those of our loved ones, especially, our biological family members.

Most of us are aware of the how our genes work and their importance in our own functioning as individual human beings. Furthermore, I believe that you have an idea that our genes contain DNAs that give each cell in our body instructions and blueprints on how they would react. Together with RNA (ribonucleic acid), they carry vital genetic information necessary for the movement and function of the cells in our body. Without these things, we wouldn’t be capable of doing our usual activities.

Did you ever wonder what these microscopic molecules contain, specifically DNA and RNA? They look similar, work somewhat similarly, yet possess some difference in their composition. They are both vital for our survival, and it is best that we have a basic understanding of their simplest unit and what they are composed of, namely, a deoxyribonucleotide and a ribonucleotide. Both of these are forms of nucleotides, but, they have some differences.

A deoxyribonucleotide is the main unit found in DNA. It is made up of 3 parts, a deoxyribose sugar, a nitrogenous base, and a phosphate group (can be one or more). Bear in mind that it contains a deoxyribose sugar in its composition, an organic compound composed of five carbons, 10 hydrogens, and 3 oxygens. Take note in the number of oxygen molecules as this is the main difference between that of a ribose. Furthermore, the phosphate group attaches to a different part than that of a ribonucleotide.

On the other hand, a ribonucleotide is the main component of RNA. Here, the nitrogenous base and phosphate group (can be one or more) are attached to a ribose sugar, rather than a deoxyribose sugar. A ribose sugar has a chemical formula of C5H10O5 (5carbons-10hydrogens-5oxygens). This is where the difference lies. The presence of an organic sugar differs between the two nucleotides.

If you want to learn more, you can read further about this topic since only basic details are provided in this article.


1. DNAs and RNAs help store and use genetic information necessary for the normal functioning of our cells, and ultimately, us as human beings.

2. A deoxyribonucleotide is composed of a nitrogen-containing base, an organic sugar in the form of a deoxyribose, and a phosphate group.

3. A ribonucletide differs only in the sugar component, having a ribose rather than a deoxyribose.

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