Physical Review E (Rapid Communications) 92
, 060701(R) (2015)
ISSN: 1539-3755, SCI
Phase diagram of the ground states of DNA condensates
Trinh X. Hoang, Hoa Lan Trinh, Achille Giacometti, Rudolf Podgornik, Jayanth R. Banavar, and Amos Maritan
The phase diagram of the ground states of DNA in a bad solvent is studied for a semiflexible polymer model with a generalized local elastic bending potential characterized by a nonlinearity parameter x and effective self-attraction promoting compaction. x=1 corresponds to the wormlike chain model. Surprisingly, the phase diagram as well as the transition lines between the ground states are found to be a function of x. The model provides a simple explanation for the results of prior experimental and computational studies and makes predictions for the specific geometries of the ground states. The results underscore the impact of the form of the microscopic bending energy at macroscopic observable scales.