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Home »  Biology »  Genetics

DNA: the Chemical Basis of Genetics

Topic Review on "Title":

Introduction
DNA (deoxyribonucleotide acid) is the genetic material that stores all of the genetic information in its nucleotide sequence. 

Composition
DNA is made up of building units called nucleotides.  A nucleotide contains a nitrogenous base, phosphate group and deoxyribose. An organic molecule containing a nitrogenous base called purine or pyrimidine is present in nucleotide. Purines are adenine or guanine and pyrimidines are cytosine, thymine or Uracil. Depending on the number of phosphate groups present in nucleotides, they are known as nucleotide monophosphates, diphosphates or triphosphates.

Structure
DNA is a very long thread like molecule made up of a very large number of deoxyribonucleotides joined together. DNA is a linear double stranded polymer made up of deoxyribonucleotides. Deoxyribonucleotide is made up of a sugar called deoxyribose, a nitrogenous base and a phosphate group. DNA is located in the nucleus. Nucleotides are joined together by a phosphodiester bond in a condensation reaction. Double helix is formed when two strands are joined together by hydrogen bonds. Double helix is anti parallel. Both the stands run in opposite direction and are parallel to each other.

Gene and RNA
Genes are functional unit of DNA, usually a segment of DNA in chromosome.  RNA is a linear polymer in which nucleotides are linked together by means of phosphodiester bridges. It does not form a double helix like DNA.  The genetic information is copied from DNA to mRNA in cells by base complementation mechanisms, therefore DNA molecule can be hybridized to RNA to detect its own expression. 

DNA replication
DNA molecules are replicated precisely before cells divide.  The replication is semi-conservative, with double strand open to form a replication fork. Then one strand (the leading strand) is synthesized continuously, while the other strand (the lagging strand) is synthesized as Okazaki fragments and then ligated together to form continuous molecule.  At both ends of the DNA molecules, there is a special structure called telomeres which contain many tandem repeats to protect the DNA molecules from shortening. 


Rapid Study Kit for "Title":
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"Title" Tutorial Summary :

DNA molecules are polymers of deoxyribonucleotides that are associated with the nucleus of a cell. It is the genetic material of most organisms.  DNA contains four bases: A, T, G and C, among which C and T are pyrimidines, and G and C are purines.  Genes are functional unit of DNA, usually a segment of DNA in chromosome.  RNA is a linear polymer in which nucleotides are linked together by means of phosphodiester bridges. It does not form a double helix like DNA.  The genetic information is copied from DNA to mRNA in cells by base complementation mechanisms.  DNA molecules are replicated precisely before cells divide.  The replication is semi-conservative, with double strand open to form a replication fork. Then one strand (the leading strand) is synthesized continuously, while the other strand (the lagging strand) is synthesized as Okazaki fragments and then ligated together to form continuous molecule.  At both ends of the DNA molecules, there is a special structure called telomeres which contain many tandem repeats to protect the DNA molecules from shortening. 


Tutorial Features:
  • Internal concept map
  • Classical experiment in details to prove DNA is the genetic material
  • Structures of DNA and nucleotides are given.
  • Names of nucleotides are listed.
  • Double helical structure of DNA is described.
  • Detailed diagrams to show DNA replication procedure.

"Title" Topic List:

Introduction

  • Characteristics of genetic material
  • Evidence of DNA as genetic material
  • Evidence from eukaryotes

DNA composition

  • Overview
  • Chemical composition
  • Base and nucleotides
  • Nucleic acids

DNA structure

  • Watson and Crick double helix model
  • Chemical and physical nature of DNA
  • DNA hybridization
  • Reassociation kinetics

Gene and RNA

  • Organization of DNA in cell
  • Gene basics
  • RNA as genetic material
  • Types of RNA
  • DNA-RNA hybridization

DNA replication

  • Semiconservative replication
  • Replication origin and replication fork
  • Initiation and elongation
  • Leading strand and lagging strand
  • Telomere
  • DNA recombination

See all 24 lessons in Genetics, including concept tutorials, problem drills and cheat sheets:
Teach Yourself Genetics Visually in 24 Hours

Home »  Biology »  Genetics
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