Heterogeneity of DNA in Density and Base Composition

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Science  20 Sep 1963:
Vol. 141, Issue 3586, pp. 1194-1196
DOI: 10.1126/science.141.3586.1194


Chromatography, on methylated-albumin columns, of DNA from calf thymus, mouse testis, and Bacillus subtilis, yielded, on elution by a sodium chloride gradient, fractions differing in density. The fractions eluted by higher sodium chloride concentrations had lower densities in a CsCl density gradient. Since DNA with higher guaninecytosine content is eluted from the column with lower concentration of sodium chloride and has higher density, the density heterogeneity of DNA is best interpreted as a result of heterogeneity of base composition. An extra band observed in calf-thymus DNA had a higher density than that of the main DNA; it was eluted at a lower concentration of NaCl, indicating a higher content of guanine and cytosine. On the other hand, an additional DNA component in the mouse-testis DNA had a lower density and also it was eluted at a lower salt concentration, possibly an indication of an unusual base component in its structure.