We present a numerical characterization of the statics and dynamics of the packaging of a semi-flexible polymer inside a sphere. The study is motivated by recent experiments on the packaging of DNA inside viral capsids. It is found that the force required to confine the coarse-grained polymer is in fair agreement with that found in experiments for the packaging of the phi29 bacteriophage genome. Despite its schematic nature, the model is capable of reproducing the most salient dynamical features of packaging experiments such as the presence of pauses during individual packaging processes and the trend of the resisting force as a function of chain packed fraction.
- DNA packaging
- Polymer physics
- Statistical mechanics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)