Intermediate phase in DNA melting

Richard A. Neher, Ulrich Gerland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We predict a temperature-driven phase transition of DNA below the melting transition. The additional, intermediate phase exists for repetitive sequences, when the two strands have different lengths. In this phase, the excess bases of the longer strand are completely absorbed as bulge loops inside the helical region. When the temperature is lowered, the excess bases desorb into overhanging ends, resulting in a contour length change. This continuous transition is in many aspects analogous to Bose-Einstein condensation. When the sequence is weakly disordered, the contour length changes discontinuously with temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number030902
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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