Role of tension and twist in single-molecule DNA condensation

K. Besteman*, S. Hage, N. H. Dekker, S. G. Lemay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Using magnetic tweezers, we study in real time the condensation of single DNA molecules under tension. We find that DNA condensation occurs via discrete nucleated events. By measuring the influence of an imposed twist, we show that condensation is initiated by the formation of a plectonemic supercoil. This demonstrates a strong interplay between the condensation transition and externally imposed mechanical constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Article number058103
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of tension and twist in single-molecule DNA condensation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this