DNA Structure Activity

Problem 1: Identifying the location of phosphate groups.

phosphate group

Phosphate group

DNA (and RNA) are polymers made up of five-carbon sugars, organic nitrogen-containing bases, and phosphate groups. Examine the view of DNA labeled "phosphate group". Notice a phosphate group is a central phosphorous atom covalently bonded to 4 oxygen atoms. Next, identify the location of the phosphate groups in the overall view of DNA labeled "original". Use the "+" zoom tool to zoom in and get a close look, and then click on "original" to return to the starting view. Where are phosphates located in DNA?

A. the outermost surface of the DNA
B. partially exposed and partially buried
C. buried in the interior of the molecule

The Biology Project
University of Arizona
Modified: May 27, 1997
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