A Caltech Library Service

I. Studies on bacteriophage DNA's and minicircular DNA's in M. lysodeikticus and E. coli 15. II. Flow dichroism of DNA solutions


Lee, Chong Sung (1970) I. Studies on bacteriophage DNA's and minicircular DNA's in M. lysodeikticus and E. coli 15. II. Flow dichroism of DNA solutions. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/K05B-3W74.


Part I

Chapter 1.....A physicochemical study of the DNA molecules from the three bacteriophages, N1, N5, and N6, which infect the bacterium, M. lysodeikticus, has been made. The molecular weights, as measured by both electron microscopy and sedimentation velocity, are 23 x 106 for N5 DNA and 31 x 106 for N1 and N6 DNA's. All three DNA's are capable of thermally reversible cyclization. N1 and N6 DNA's have identical or very similar base sequences as judged by membrane filter hybridization and by electron microscope heteroduplex studies. They have identical or similar cohesive ends. These results are in accord with the close biological relation between N1 and N6 phages. N5 DNA is not closely related to N1 or N6 DNA. The denaturation Tm of all three DNA's is the same and corresponds to a (GC) content of 70%. However, the buoyant densities in CsCl of Nl and N6 DNA's are lower than expected, corresponding to predicted GC contents of 64 and 67%. The buoyant densities in Cs2SO4 are also somewhat anomalous. The buoyant density anomalies are probably due to the presence of odd bases. However, direct base composition analysis of N1 DNA by anion exchange chromatography confirms a GC content of 70%, and, in the elution system used, no peaks due to odd bases are present.

Chapter 2.....A covalently closed circular DNA form has been observed as an intracellular form during both productive and abortive infection processes in M. lysodeikticus. This species has been isolated by the method of CsC1-ethidium bromide centrifugation and examined with an electron microscope.

Chapter 3.....A minute circular DNA has been discovered as a homogeneous population in M. lysodeikticus. Its length and molecular weight as determined by electron microscopy are 0.445 μ and 0.88 x 106 daltons respectively. There is about one minicircle per bacterium.

Chapter 4.....Several strains of E. coli 15 harbor a prophage. Viral growth can be induced by exposing the host to mitomycin C or to uv irradiation. The coliphage 15 particles from E. coli 15 and E, coli 15 T- appear as normal phage with head and tail structure; the particles from E. coli 15 TAU are tailless. The complete particles exert a colicinogenic activity on E.coli 15 and 15 T-, the tailless particles do not. No host for a productive viral infection has been found and the phage may be defective. The properties of the DNA of the virus have been studied, mainly by electron microscopy. After induction but before lysis, a closed circular DNA with a contour length of about 11.9 μ is found in the bacterium; the mature phage DNA is a linear duplex and 7.5% longer than the intracellular circular form. This suggests the hypothesis that the mature phage DNA is terminally repetitious and circularly permuted. The hypothesis was confirmed by observing that denaturation and renaturation of the mature phage DNA produce circular duplexes with two single-stranded branches corresponding to the terminal repetition. The contour length of the mature phage DNA was measured relative to φX RFII DNA and λ DNA; the calculated molecular weight is 27 x 106. The length of the single-stranded terminal repetition was compared to the length of φX 174 DNA under conditions where single-stranded DNA is seen in an extended form in electron micrographs. The length of the terminal repetition is found to be 7.4% of the length of the nonrepetitious part of the coliphage 15 DNA. The number of base pairs in the terminal repetition is variable in different molecules, with a fractional standard deviation of 0.18 of the average number in the terminal repetition. A new phenomenon termed "branch migration" has been discovered in renatured circular molecules; it results in forked branches, with two emerging single strands, at the position of the terminal repetition. The distribution of branch separations between the two terminal repetitions in the population of renatured circular molecules was studied. The observed distribution suggests that there is an excluded volume effect in the renaturation of a population of circularly permuted molecules such that strands with close beginning points preferentially renature with each other. This selective renaturation and the phenomenon of branch migration both affect the distribution of branch separations; the observed distribution does not contradict the hypothesis of a random distribution of beginning points around the chromosome.

Chapter 5....Some physicochemical studies on the minicircular DNA species in E. coli 15 (0.670 μ, 1.47 x 106 daltons) have been made. Electron microscopic observations showed multimeric forms of the minicircle which amount to 5% of total DNA species and also showed presumably replicating forms of the minicircle. A renaturation kinetic study showed that the minicircle is a unique DNA species in its size and base sequence. A study on the minicircle replication has been made under condition in which host DNA synthesis is synchronized. Despite experimental uncertainties involved, it seems that the minicircle replication is random and the number of the minicircles increases continuously throughout a generation of the host, regardless of host DNA synchronization.

Part II

The flow dichroism of dilute DNA solutions (A260≈0.1) has been studied in a Couette-type apparatus with the outer cylinder rotating and with the light path parallel to the cylinder axis. Shear gradients in the range of 5-160 sec.-1 were studied. The DNA samples were whole, "half," and "quarter" molecules of T4 bacteriophage DNA, and linear and circular λb2b5c DNA. For the linear molecules, the fractional flow dichroism is a linear function of molecular weight. The dichroism for linear A DNA is about 1.8 that of the circular molecule. For a given DNA, the dichroism is an approximately linear function of shear gradient, but with a slight upward curvature at low values of G, and some trend toward saturation at larger values of G. The fractional dichroism increases as the supporting electrolyte concentration decreases.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Chemistry
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Davidson, Norman R. (advisor)
  • Vinograd, Jerome Rubin (co-advisor)
  • Bonner, James Frederick (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:19 September 1969
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:08102015-160156690
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9092
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:11 Aug 2015 15:38
Last Modified:09 Nov 2022 19:20

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page