The main aim of this paper is the development of suitable bases (replacing the power basis x^n (n\in\IN_\le 0) which enable the direct series representation of orthogonal polynomial systems on non-uniform lattices (quadratic lattices of a discrete or a q-discrete variable). We present two bases of this type,
the first of which allows to write solutions of arbitrary divided-difference equations in terms of series representations extending results given in  for the q-case. Furthermore it enables the representation of the Stieltjes function which can be used to prove the equivalence between the Pearson equation for a
given linear functional and the Riccati equation for the formal Stieltjes function.
If the Askey-Wilson polynomials are written in terms of this basis, however, the coefficients turn out to be not q-hypergeometric. Therefore, we present a second basis, which shares several relevant properties with the first one. This basis enables to generate the defining representation of the Askey-Wilson polynomials directly from their divided-difference equation. For this purpose the divided-difference equation must be rewritten in terms of suitable divided-difference operators developed in , see also .