Country: United States
Date: October 2005
Would it be correct to say that genetic information is
found in chromosomes, RNA, DNA and nucleic acids?
DNA and RNA are both nucleic acids so it is correct to say that nucleic
acids carry genetic information. DNA is the primary repository of genetic
information, but this information is transferred to messenger RNA which
carries the information to the ribosomes where this information is used for
protein synthesis. Chromosomes are comprised of DNA and histone proteins, so
it is also correct to say that chromosomes also carry genetic information.
Ron Baker, Ph.D.
RNA and DNA are nucleic acids (the acronyms stand for ribonucleic acid and
deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA in a cell is organized into discrete structures
called chromosomes. It is probably more accurate to say that genetic
information is carried in the form of DNA, while RNA is involved in
"reading" that information and carrying out the instructions contained
I can't tell from your email your grade level, so this response is a bit
You would be correct in indicating that genetic material is encoded or
present in each material/structure you mention.
There is a substantial overlap in the terms you mention. You should be
aware that chromosomes contain DNA which is itself composed of nucleotides
containing dexoyribose sugar and is itself a nucleic acid. RNA can be one of
many forms transcribed from the DNA genetic material. Some RNA's are
translated (ex. mRNA) into proteins; tRNA is intimately involved in protein
synthesis but is itself not translated. mRNA, having been transcribed from
DNA contains genetic material, though as an edited version pointed at its
ultimate target protein.
Thanks for using NEWTON!
RNA and DNA ARE nucleic acids. Chromosomes are made of DNA. And yes, the
genetic information is found in nucleic acids. Most of the DNA is found in
the nucleus, but a small amount of DNA is found in the mitochondria, and the
chloroplasts of plants.
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Update: June 2012