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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Apr 15;90(8):3598-601.

Chirality of DNA supercoiling assigned by scanning force microscopy.

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Dipartimento di Chimica, Universitá della Calabria, Arcavacata di Rende CS, Italy.


Reproducible images of pBR322 plasmid molecules have been recorded by scanning force microscopy under 1-propanol. Most of the plasmids were found in a coiled state. The supercoiled molecules of our samples look like branched or unbranched interwound superhelixes. This is consistent with available electron microscopy data on circular DNA molecules. By applying a stratigraphic analysis which takes advantage of the height information contained in the scanning force microscopy images, it is possible to assign the chirality of the local supercoiling of the individual molecules.

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