AP Bio Study Guide

Big Idea 4.A

What is the structure of nucleic acids?

The two nucleic acids, ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) encode hereditary information. Nucleic acids are polymers, polynucleotides that consist of repeating units called nucleotides.

A nucleotide consists of a phosphate (P), a 5-carbon sugar (deoxyribose or ribose), and a nitrogen base (adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine in DNA / uracil in RNA).