Direct observation of azimuthal correlations between DNA in hydrated aggregates

Alexei A. Kornyshev, Dominic J. Lee, Sergey Leikin, Aaron Wynveen, Steven B. Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This study revisits the classical x-ray diffraction patterns from hydrated, noncrystalline fibers originally used to establish the helical structure of DNA. We argue that changes in these diffraction patterns with DNA packing density reveal strong azimuthally dependent interactions between adjacent molecules up to ∼40 interaxial or ∼20 surface-to-surface separations. These interactions appear to force significant torsional " straightening" of DNA and strong azimuthal alignment of nearest neighbor molecules. The results are in good agreement with the predictions of recent theoretical models relating DNA-DNA interactions to the helical symmetry of their surface charge patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number148102
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - Sep 30 2005
Externally publishedYes


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