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base pair

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noun Genetics.
any of the pairs of the hydrogen-bonded purine and pyrimidine bases that form the links between the sugar-phosphate backbones of nucleic acid molecules: the pairs are adenine and thymine in DNA, adenine and uracil in RNA, and guanine and cytosine in both DNA and RNA.
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Origin of base pair

First recorded in 1960–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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Scientific definitions for base pair

base pair

Any of the pairs of nucleotides connecting the complementary strands of a molecule of DNA or RNA and consisting of a purine linked to a pyrimidine by hydrogen bonds. The base pairs are adenine-thymine and guanine-cytosine in DNA, and adenine-uracil and guanine-cytosine in RNA or in hybrid DNA-RNA pairing. Base pairs may be thought of as the rungs of the DNA ladder.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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