DNA, nucleotides, chromosomes, nitrogen bases and genes: Structures/Funtions of each.

Essay by pfeiffernatorHigh School, 12th grade March 2006

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DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is where the hertiable genetic information is stored. DNA is a type of nucleic acid and is made up of nucleotides and polymers.

Structure: The structure of this double helix DNA is two strands of nucleotide wound around each other. The proper name for this shape is a "double-helix." The outsides are called sugar phosphate backbones. The inside is the four nitrogenous bases. These bases are paired together: Adenine (A) is paired with Thymine (T) and Cytosine (C) is with Guanine (G).

Funtion: The sequence of nucleotides in the DNA determines individual hereditary characteristics.


A Nucleotide is a monomer (building block) of nucleic acid polymers. Only 4 types of nucleotides can make up DNA.

Structure: Each nucleotide has three parts; a phosphate group, a nitrogenous base, and a sugar. The phosphate group is phosphorous atoms surrounded by four oxygen atoms. The sugar is a ring-shaped sugar called 'deoxyribose.'

The nitrogenous base is a single or double ring of carbon and nitrogen atoms with functional groups.

Funtion: When multiple nucleotides combine with phosphate groups, these form the basic constituents of DNA and RNA.


Structure: A gene is the physical and functional unit of heredity passed from a parent to the offspring through mitosis. To be more basic, it is just a section of the DNA, instead of the whole piece.

Funtion: Genes contain the information for making a specific protein and thus cells. Also, these genes determine certain traits that will be shared from parent to offspring.


Structure: The structure of a chromosome is condensed threads of genetic material formed when the cell gets ready to divide. It is formed from chromatin because the chromatin fibers condense and become visible, compact structures.

Funtion: The chromosomes being a combination of proteins and DNA...