DNA Structure Activity

Problem 6: Location of the sugar in the DNA double helix

Switch to the view of DNA labeled "Sugar location." In this view, the carbon atoms of the sugars are colored green to emphasize their location. The red and white atoms are the oxygen and hydrogens of the deoxyribose sugar. Other atoms of DNA are shown in a neutral color. The "+" zoom tool from the Toolbar can be used for a closer look at the position of individual sugar rings in the DNA structure. Are the deoxyribose sugars, and the phosphates that link them together, located:


sugar location

The alternating sugar-phosphate repeat forms the backbone of each DNA strand. This polymer spirals around the outer surface of the DNA double helix, wheras the A, C, G, and T bases are stacked on the interior of the structure (as we will see in Question 9).

In the illustration, the entire DNA was first given a neutral color, and then the sugars were selected and colored red to emphasize their location on the outside of the DNA.

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