Recent single-molecular observations have revealed that a single giant DNA molecule assumes (micro) phase separated structures upon the addition of condensing agents. Electron and atomic force microscopy have clearly shown the coexistence of ordered tori and disordered coil structures within a single DNA molecule. Motivated by these experimental findings, we theoretically investigated the collapse transition of a single polyelectrolyte chain driven by the addition of condensing guest molecules. We found that the transition behavior critically depends on the degree of the surviving charge inside the torus. When the torus is charged, even slightly, "rings-on-a-string" structures are expected for a sufficiently long chain, owing to the combinational entropy of segment state distribution along the chain and the unique property of the stability of charged torus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry