A Caltech Library Service

A director-field model of DNA packaging in viral capsids

Klug, W. S. and Ortiz, M. (2003) A director-field model of DNA packaging in viral capsids. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 51 (10). pp. 1815-1847. ISSN 0022-5096.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The present work is concerned with the formulation of a continuum theory of viral DNA packaging based on a director field representation of the encapsidated DNA. The point values of the director field give the local direction and density of the DNA. The continuity of the DNA strand requires that the director field be divergence-free and tangent to the capsid wall. The energy of the DNA is defined as a functional of the director field which accounts for bending, torsion, and for electrostatic interactions through a density-dependent cohesive energy. The operative principle which determines the encapsidated DNA conformation is assumed to be energy minimization. We show that torsionless toroidal solenoids, consisting of planar coils contained within meridional planes and wrapped around a spool core, and fine mixtures of the solenoid and spool phase, beat the inverse spool construction.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Ortiz, M.0000-0001-5877-4824
Additional Information:© 2003 Elsevier. Received 10 December 2002, Revised 14 April 2003, Available online 17 July 2003. We are grateful to W. Gelbart for privately communicating to us the form of the cohesive energy used in this work and the values of the parameters, and for helpful discussions. We are also grateful to P. Purohit, J. Kondev, and R. Phillips for making a preprint of their paper available to us, and for many helpful discussions.
Subject Keywords:Viral DNA; Packaging; Director field; Energy minimization
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171128-115155193
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:W.S. Klug, M. Ortiz, A director-field model of DNA packaging in viral capsids, In Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Volume 51, Issue 10, 2003, Pages 1815-1847, ISSN 0022-5096, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83529
Deposited By: Lydia Suarez
Deposited On:28 Nov 2017 21:29
Last Modified:24 Feb 2020 10:30

Repository Staff Only: item control page