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Physical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics 75 (2007) 030901(R)
Screwlike Order, Macroscopic Chirality, and Elastic Distortions in High-density DNA Mesophases
Federico Manna1, Vladimir Lorman1, R. Podgornik, B. Zeks

We investigate a new screwlike liquid-crystalline ordering in solutions of helical biopolymers and its influence on the state of individual molecules. In the resulting mesophase translational and rotational motions of molecules are coupled in screw fluctuations. We show that in contrast to the case of conventional chiral liquid crystals the elastic distortion does not twist the screw order but leads to overwinding of individual helical molecules. This explains the peculiarities of high-density DNA mesophases.
1 :  LPTA - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Astroparticules
Sciences du Vivant/Biochimie, Biologie Moléculaire/Biophysique
DNA – molecular biophysics – biochemistry – chirality – liquid crystals – fluctuations – translational states – rotational states – elasticity PACS: 87.14.Gg – 61.25.Hq – 64.70.Md – 87.15.Nn