Single-molecule studies of viral DNA packaging

Yann R. Chemla, Douglas E. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Many double-stranded DNA bacteriophages and viruses use specialized ATP-driven molecular machines to package their genomes into tightly confined procapsid shells. Over the last decade, single-molecule approaches - and in particular, optical tweezers - have made key contributions to our understanding of this remarkable process. In this chapter, we review these advances and the insights they have provided on the packaging mechanisms of three bacteriophages: φ 29, λ, and T4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationViral Molecular Machines
EditorsMichael Rossmann, Venigalla Rao
Number of pages36
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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