Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Base Pair

  • Juli Peretó
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_154-2


Base pair is a pair of nucleic acid bases each in a different nucleotide monomer in the same (intramolecular) or different (intermolecular) nucleic acid strands and linked to one another by specific hydrogen bonds. The canonical base pairs in DNA (Watson-Crick pairs) contain one purine and one pyrimidine in antiparallel positions: adenine binds thymine in DNA – uracil in RNA (through two hydrogen bonds) – and guanine binds cytosine (through three hydrogen bonds). There are also many examples of non-Watson-Crick pairing, especially in three-dimensional structures of RNAs.

See Also


Hydrogen Bond Nucleic Acid Base Pair Bioorganic Chemistry Genetic Code 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia EvolutivaUniversitat de ValènciaValènciaSpain