Talk:Base pair

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New images[edit]

The previous image (below) contains errors (outlined on its talk page) but it would be very useful to have some diagram. Anyone with ChemDraw? Opabinia regalis 05:26, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Hey, O. regalis, check out

GC Watson Crick basepair.png


AT DNA base pair.svg

Are they OK for your purposes? I can spruce them up if needed. The bonding should be checked, but I think they're OK. WillowW 03:21, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Nice! Did I mention that you're awesome? :) Only one minor thing - there's a double bond missing on the upper right of the cytosine (between carbons 5 and 6). I like not showing the sugar and phosphate the way the previous images did, which looked "busy" aside from being wrong. (That poor overburdened carbon atom...) Opabinia regalis 06:38, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Yay! :) I totally agree about the backbone -- it distracted from the Main Event; a student might not know what part of the Figure to look at. Sorry about the missing db, and thanks for catching it; I had a skulking feeling that something was wrong. Hope this helps and send along any other requests for ChemDraw; the program is good although I haven't learned all its tricks yet... WillowW 11:15, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Great, thanks! Added both to the article. I've been using XDrawChem lately (partly for licensing reasons and partly out of a possibly-misguided attempt to stick with open-source) and it's just not as pretty or convenient to use. Still pretty good for a freebie though. I'll pass along any more ChemDraw-deficient articles I run into :) Opabinia regalis 01:58, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Old image[edit]

substituted thumb|150px|the png for

because the former is only 1/4 the filesize of the latter with no apparent difference in quality.--Deelkar 21:22, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I deleted the png one under WP:CSD#4, as it had no source information and was tagged for speedy deletion. ElinorD (talk) 07:44, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, there were claims on the image page that it was factually inaccurate. ElinorD (talk) 07:47, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

what about uracil and adenine?[edit]

how many H bonds do they have? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:27, 10 March 2007 (UTC).

Base Stacking[edit]

What does this mean - quote: "GC stacking interactions with adjacent bases tend to be more favorable." ? Does it mean that GC base pairs form more bonds with other base pairs, be they GC or AT, or just among other GC base pairs? Do the base pairs have to be in a particular orientation, e.g. GpG with CpC vs CpG with GpC? --Seans Potato Business 19:08, 16 May 2007 (UTC)


What is the length of 1 bp in nanometers?

Length II, numbers[edit]

Can anybody who knows please amend the sentence "The haploid human genome (23 chromosomes) is estimated to be about 3 billion base pairs long .." (introduction) by an numeric expression? Is 3 billion 3E9 (UK) or 3E12 (US)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:56, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Actually, the US billion is 10^9, and the UK billion used to be 10^12, but common usage is tending to the 10^9 version.

The human genome is 3E9 base pairs; at 0.34 nm per base pair, that works out to 1 meter. (talk) 01:01, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Could a base pair be denoted by a single letter?[edit]

I quote from a DNA-testing-company material:

"Your DNA is made up of a series of 'base pairs' that make up your genetic code. Each of these base pairs can have one of four designations: A, C, G, or T"

- isn't there some mistake? I thought that a pair should be designated by a pair of letters. Best regards, --CopperKettle 12:16, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

When DNA sequences are reported, usually only one strand is written; the other strand is implied by complementarity rules. (talk) 01:04, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

The human genome size[edit]

According to an internet source, the human genome contains more than 3.4 billion base pairs: How big is the human genome? Maybe this could be of interest too: Detailed Record for Homo sapiens Just thought I should mention it. (talk) 02:00, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

kb not (always) equal to kbp?[edit]

Hi, this article is about base pairs, but they don't always come in pairs? This is not my field so I hesitate to edit and add:

Note I assumed in Yeast artificial chromosome "100-1000&nbps;kb" should really say 100-1000 kbp. Now I'm not sure and will not change that. comp.arch (talk) 21:12, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Strictly speaking, "kb" is correct for single stranded nucleic acids (eg mRNA, some viral genomes), whereas "kbp" is correct for double stranded nucleic acids (eg most forms of DNA). In practice, "kb" is sometimes used in either case. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 23:54, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Opening sentence needs improvement[edit]

Currently the opening sentence reads "Base pairs form....". This fails to define the subject matter.

Perhaps use something like this:

A base pair is a pair of complementary bases in a double-stranded nucleic acid molecule, consisting of a purine in one strand linked by hydrogen bonds to a pyrimidine in the other.


A base pair is two bases held together by weak bonds.

pgr94 (talk) 12:51, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

That would definitely be an improvement. Feel free to be bold and make the change yourself! Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 22:11, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Lead paragraph potential issues[edit]

The lead begins with:

Base pairs (unit: bp), which form between specific nucleobases (also termed nitrogenous bases), are the building blocks...

This kind of lends to the belief that something physical exists between the each necleobase pair. Perhaps "Base pairs (unit: bp), which are formed of specific nucleobases" or something similar. I'm not sure the exact proper wording, but I know the current version should be improved. (talk) 19:31, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I've reworded the sentence. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 23:35, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Base pair/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Rated "top" as high school/SAT biology content and crucial to understanding DNA structure, replication, and transcription. - tameeria 23:22, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 23:22, 18 February 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 09:03, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

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