Difference Between Deoxyribose And Ribose

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Ribose and deoxyribose are monosaccharides or simple sugars. They are aldopentoses and undergo phosphorylation to form deoxyribonucleotides and ribonucleotides. They are of great biological importance that helps in the formation of a blueprint of an organism that is passed on to generations.

The nucleotides act as the building blocks of nucleic acids and help them to carry genetic information. Pentose sugar for RNA is ribose with 5 carbon atoms. Pentose sugar for DNA is deoxyribose.

Ribose was discovered by Emil Fischer and Oskar Piloty in the year 1891. Deoxyribose was discovered by Phoebus Levene in the year 1929. Some differences between deoxyribose and ribose based on structure, IUPAC name, molar mass, chemical formula, etc., are given below.

Deoxyribose vs Ribose

Deoxyribose and Ribose Sugar

Following are the major difference between deoxyribose and ribose:

Deoxyribose Ribose
Chemical formula
C5H10O4 C5H10O5
IUPAC name
It has a hydrogen (H) atom at position 2 It has a hydroxyl (OH) group at position 2
Molar mass
134.13 g/mol 150.13 g/mol
Also known as
2-deoxy-D-erythro-pentose D-Ribose
1929 by Phoebus Levene 1891 by Emil Fischer and Oskar Piloty
Found in

What is Deoxyribose?

Deoxyribose is an aldopentose sugar with an aldehyde group attached to it. This helps the enzymes present in the living body to differentiate between ribonucleic and deoxyribonucleic acid.

The products of deoxyribose have an important role in Biology. DNA is the main source of genetic information in all life forms. The DNA nucleotides comprise bases such as adenine, thiamine, guanine, and cytosine.

What is Ribose?

Ribose is a pentose sugar with an aldehyde group attached to the end of the chain in an open form. The combination of ribose sugar and nitrogenous base forms ribonucleoside. When attached to a phosphate group, this ribonucleoside gives rise to a ribonucleotide.

It is a regular monosaccharide with one oxygen attached to each carbon atom. Ribose sugar is found in the RNA of living organisms. RNA is responsible for coding and decoding genetic information.

To know more about the difference between deoxyribose and ribose, keep visiting BYJU’S website or download BYJU’S app for further reference.

Some important links:

DNA Structure RNA World

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What is the structural difference between Ribose and Deoxyribose?

The structure of Ribose and Deoxyribose is almost identical, with just one difference. Ribose sugar has a hydroxyl (OH) group at position 2, whereas deoxyribose sugar has a hydrogen (H) atom at position 2. Due to this, deoxyribose sugar is more stable than ribose sugar.
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