Menagerie of Viruses: Diverse Chemical Sequences or Electrostatics?
Nov 16, 2011
3:30PM to 4:30PM
Date(s) - 16/11/2011
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Title: Menagerie of Viruses: Diverse Chemical Sequences or Electrostatics?
Speaker: Dr. Murugappan Muthukumar
Institute: University of Massachusetts
Location: ABB 102
The genome packing in hundreds of viruses is investigated by analyzing the chemical sequences of the genomes and the corresponding capsid proteins, in combination with experimental facts on the structures of the packaged genomes. Based on statistical mechanics arguments and computer simulations, we predict the essential aspects of genome packing in diversely different viruses, such as the size and density distribution of the genomes. Our result is in contrast to the long-held view that specific interactions between the sequenced amino acid residues and the nucleotides of the genome dictate the assembled genome structure. The kinetics of the virus assembly will also be briefly discussed.