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J Bacteriol. 1970 Mar;101(3):738-54.

Reexamination of the association between melting point, buoyant density, and chemical base composition of deoxyribonucleic acid.


The equations currently used for the calculation of the chemical base composition of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), expressed as moles per cent guanine plus cytosine (% GC), from either buoyant density (rho) or midpoint of thermal denaturation (T(m)) were recalculated by using only sets of data on DNA determined with the same strains. All available information from the literature was screened and supplemented by unpublished data. The results were calculated by regression and correlation analysis and treated statistically. From the data on 96 strains of bacteria, it was calculated that% GC = 2.44 (T(m) - 69.4). T(m) appears to be unaffected by the substitution of cytosine by hydroxymethylcytosine. This equation is also valid for nonbacterial DNA. From the data on 84 strains of bacteria, the relation% GC = 1038.47 (-1.6616) was calculated. The constants in this equation are slightly modified when data on nonbacterial DNA are included. Both correlations differ only slightly from those currently used, but now they lean on a statistically sound basis. As a control, the relation between rho and T(m) was calculated from data of 197 strains; it agrees excellently with the above two equations.

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