A mechanical model of bacteriophage DNA ejection

Rahul Arun, Sandip Ghosal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Single molecule experiments on bacteriophages show an exponential scaling for the dependence of mobility on the length of DNA within the capsid. It has been suggested that this could be due to the "capstan mechanism" - the exponential amplification of friction forces that result when a rope is wound around a cylinder as in a ship's capstan. Here we describe a desktop experiment that illustrates the effect. Though our model phage is a million times larger, it exhibits the same scaling observed in single molecule experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - May 30 2017

Keywords

  • Bacteriophage
  • Capstan model
  • Cell mechanics
  • Coulomb-Amonton law
  • DNA translocation
  • Nanoscale friction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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