Characterization of Nucleic Acids

Essay by kimmCollege, Undergraduate March 2008

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This paper is an analysis conducted on Nucleic Acids through a variety of tests specifically, Dische, Murexide, Wheeler-Johnson and Phosphate Tests in order to exemplify structural features of nucleic acids as well as identify the principle involved in each chemical test. Different procedures and different test compounds were applied, and results were noted as for changes in colors of precipitates or solutions. For Dische Test, light blue was obtained for RNA and dark violet for DNA. For Murexide Test, a yellow layer was obtained with a mixture of red color and eventually became yellow or orange after addition of warm water. For John-Wheeler Test, a violet precipitate was obtained and lastly for Phosphate Test, a yellow precipitate was obtained.

Keywords: Nucleic Acids, Dische Test, Murexide Test, Phosphate Test, Wheeler-Johnson Test1. IntroductionThe experiment solely revolved on the identification of the different structural features that make up the complex structure of nucleic acids as well as its characterization through specific chemical tests namely Dische Test, Murexide Test, Wheeler-Johnson Test and Phosphate Test. Upon performance of the tests mentioned, the principles involved were identified and stated based on the results obtained from the experiment.

2. MethodologyMaterials such as water bath, test tubes, evaporating dish, test compounds and reagents were gathered and prepared.

In Dische Test, ten (10) drops of test compound and Diphenylamine wasplaced in a test tube and heated in boiling water bath for ten minutes. Color change on the solution was noted.

In Murexide Test, ten(10) drops of Guanidine was placed in a test tube. Concentrated Nitric Acid(HNO3) was added to the test compound and then brought to water bath to dry until a solid mixture is obtained. Once the mixture dried up, ten(10) drops of Potassium Hydroxide(KOH) was used to wet the reagent and then later...