Nucleic acids, bacteriophages, phage capsids, and a DNA-capsid complex have been centrifuged to an equilibrium buoyant density in sodium iothalamate density gradients. Nucleic acids have comparatively high hydrations and are less dense than proteins in these gradients. Sodium iothalamate gradients can be used to separate DNA from RNA, single-chain DNA from double-chain DNA and to separate bacteriophage T7 and λ deletion mutants from the respective wild-type phage. The DNA packaged in bacteriophage T7 appears to be less hydrated than free DNA in sodium iothalamate gradients. There is evidence that the hydration of DNA packaged in phage T7 is restricted by the volume of the phage head. The total volume of phage T7 was estimated to be 1.32 × 10-16 ml. The volume available to package phage T7 DNA was estimated to be 2.2 times the volume of the B form of T7 DNA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology