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What is a Nucleotide

Structure of Adenosine Phosphates

There was a time when a person was unable to find out his ancestors and represented nothing but just himself. Then the time changed and people went on exploring one by one, the miracles packed in our body. From these ‘n’ number of miracles, one is nucleotide content in our body. Now the question arrives, what exactly is a nucleotide? There is a simple answer for this question but the secret a nucleotide holds and carries through generations is a real surprising one.
What is a Nucleotide?
A nucleotide is a monomer which is a building block of RNA and DNA. Nucleotide plays a vital role in the metabolic process and can be considered as the source of energy in our body. It attaches to the enzyme and forms a polynucleotide chain or nucleic acid. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) plays a very important role in the transfer of genetic messages from generation to generation whereas ribonucleic acid (RNA) helps in the process of protein synthesis.
Composition of Nucleotide
A nucleotide structure has three main components – nitrogenous base, pentose sugar and a phosphate group.
The base found in the nucleotide has hetrocyclic ring which is made up of nitrogen. Hence, it is known as nitrogenous base. These bases are further divided into two parts purines and pyrimidines.
DNA: In DNA there are two purines: adenine (A) and guanine (G) and two pyrimidines: thymine (T) and cytosine (C).
RNA: In RNA also there are two purines: adenine (A) and guanine (G) and two pyrimidines: cytosine (C) and thymine is replaced by uracil (U).
Pentose Sugar
The sugar found in the nucleotide is a 5 carbon sugar and hence, it is known as a pentose sugar. This pentose sugar is further classified into two types – ribose sugar and deoxyribose sugar. The ribose sugar nucleotide is known as ribonucleotide and is a monomer of RNA whereas the deoxyribose sugar nucleotide is known as deoxyribonucleotide and is a monomer of DNA.
Phosphate Group
A nucleotide can have a monophosphate molecule, diphosphate molecule and a triphosphate molecule. A phosphate group plays a very important role in the process of photosynthesis and cell movement.
From the above information, the answer for the question, what type of nucleotide is found in DNA or RNA is clear. So, the DNA will be deoxyribonucleic acid and RNA will be ribonucleic acid.
Nucleotide Sequence?
The nucleotide sequence can also be called the genetic sequence. As the sequence is specific for everyone, it carries the genetic information which is different in every individual. The sequence is a combination of base, sugar and a phosphate group. One sequence always has a complementary sequence like C to G and A to T or may be in a reverse order. For example, the complementary sequence for GTAA will be TTAC. That means one strand of a doubled stranded DNA will be complementary to the other strand. There are many methods to find out the nucleotide or DNA sequencing of a living thing.
Now we know that a nucleotide carries genetic information and plays a vital role in the process of photosynthesis. Hope this article has proved itself informative and has solved your query about, nucleotide and its importance in a living being.

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