Generalized tube model of biased reptation for gel electrophoresis of DNA

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Science  17 Mar 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4897, pp. 1456-1458
DOI: 10.1126/science.2928779


A theoretical analysis of the reptational motion of DNA in a gel that includes the effects of molecular fluctuations has been used to explain the main features found in experiments involving periodic inversion of the electric field. The resonance-like decrease of the electrophoretic mobility as a function of pulse duration is related to transient "undershoots" in the orientation of the molecule, in agreement with recent experimental data. These features arise from a delicate interplay of internal and center of mass motion of the molecules under pulsed field conditions, and are important for the separation of DNA molecules in the size range 0.2 to 10 million base pairs.