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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

Dale McNeal

First Committee Member

Alice S. Hunter

Second Committee Member

Michael Minch


This study provides information about the effects of polyamines on the restriction enzymatic cleavage of bacteriophage lambda DNA. The polyamines studied were spermine, spermidine, Nl-acetylspermidine and N8- acetylspermidine. The restriction enzymes studied were Xhoi, BamHI, EcoRI, and Hindiii. The electrophoretic pattern of lambda DNA digests by these enzymes were recorded photographically. These results were further analyzed by spectrographic digitization and replotting. Polyamines affect the electrophoretic pattern of restriction fragments in two ways: by causing DNA streaking and by decreasing ethidium bromide binding to DNA, which in turn affects DNA staining properties. The polyamines studied have effects which are increasingly dependent on the charge of the polyamine. The concentration necssary to alter the electrophoretic pattern decreases with increased positive charge of the polyamines. Spermine, the most highly charged polyamine studied, resulted in alterations at a lower concentration than any other polyamines studied. Following spermine was spermidine, and then the two acetylated polyamines, Nl-acetylspermidine, and N8- acetylspermidine.



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