Europhys. Lett.
Volume 73, Number 5, March 2006
Page(s) 806 - 811
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 01 February 2006
Europhys. Lett., 73 (5), pp. 806-811 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10466-6

Sharp DNA denaturation due to solvent interaction

G. Weber

School of Chemistry, University of Southampton - Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK

received 17 November 2005; accepted in final form 13 January 2006
published online 1 February 2006

Within the framework of the Peyrard-Bishop model for DNA melting, sharp denaturation temperature profiles can currently be obtained only if anharmonic base-pair stacking interactions are considered. We show that, when solvent interactions are included, a sharp denaturation of the DNA double helix is obtained without the need for anharmonic nearest-neighbor interactions. Using the concept of pseudo-Schrödinger equations we discuss the analogy of these transition to quantum-mechanical tunneling, and in particular we show that the sharp transitions are similar to resonant tunneling.

87.14.Gg - DNA, RNA.
87.15.Aa - Theory and modeling; computer simulation.
05.70.Fh - Phase transitions: general studies.

© EDP Sciences 2006