Flow dichroism of capsid DNA phages. I. Fast and slow T4B

Stephen B. Hall, John A. Schellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Flow linear dichroic studies have been conducted on phage T4B in its fast and slow forms. The behavior of the phages is well represented by an equivalent ellipsoid model using the Peterlin‐Stuart theory. The measurements permit the evaluation of the optical factor of the DNA in the phage and the rotary diffusion coefficient of the phage particle. Both these quantities change during the slow–fast conversion. The rotary diffusion results are in good agreement with those obtained by other workers with other methods. The optical factor is negative, indicating a net alignment of DNA helices parallel to the phage axis. The results exclude certain simplified models for the packaged DNA but do not lead to a unique structural conclusion. The flow dichroism experiment and its interpretation are described, and a simple method of calculating optical factors for complicated but cylindrically symmetric structures is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1991-2010
Number of pages20
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry


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