A single-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid from bacteriophage φX174
The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of bacteriophage φX174 can be extracted by phenolic denaturation of the virus protein. The DNA thus obtained has a molecular weight of 1·7 × 10^6, indicating that there is one molecule per virus particle. This φX DNA does not have a complementary nucleotide composition. The ultraviolet absorption of this DNA is strongly dependent upon temperature in the range 20° to 60°C, and upon NaCl concentration in the range 10^(−3) to 10^0 M. This DNA reacts with formaldehyde at 37°C and is precipitated by plumbous ions. This evidence is interpreted to mean that the purine and pyrimidine rings are not involved in a tightly hydrogen-bonded complementary structure. Light scattering studies indicate that this DNA is highly flexible and that its configuration is strongly dependent upon the ionic strength of the solution. Upon treatment with pancreatic deoxyribonuclease, the weight-average molecular weight decreases in accordance with the function expected for a single-stranded molecule. It is concluded that the DNA of bacteriophage φX174 is single-stranded.
© 1959 Elsevier Ltd. (Received 16 January 1959) This research has been supported by grants from the U.S. Public Health Service, the American Cancer Society, and the California Division of the American Cancer Society.