Description: Measurements and calculations of polarized light scattering are applied to chromosomes. Calculations of the Mueller matrix, which completely describes how the polarization state of light is altered upon scattering, are developed for helical structures related to that of chromosomes. Measurements of the Mueller matrix are presented for octopus sperm heads, and dinoflagellates. Comparisons of theory and experiment are made. A working theory of polarized light scattering from helices is developed. The use of the first Born approximation vs the coupled dipole approximation are investigated. A comparison of continuous, calculated in this work, and discrete models is also discussed. By comparing light scattering measurements with theoretical predictions the average orientation of DNA in an octopus sperm head is determined. Calculations are made for the Mueller matrix of DNA plectonemic helices at UV, visible and X-ray wavelengths. Finally evidence is presented that the chromosomes of dinoflagellates are responsible for observed differential scattering of circularly-polarized light. This differential scattering is found to vary in a manner that is possibly correlated to the cell cycle of the dinoflagellates. It is concluded that by properly choosing the wavelength probe polarized light scattering can provide a useful tool to study chromosome structure.
Date: October 1, 1993
Creator: Shapiro, D. B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department